“I've lost 111kg and thrown my diabetes medication away for good”

After losing an amazing 111kg over three-and-a-half years, Laurel said goodbye to type 2 diabetes and hello to a new career.
Published 10 May 2022
Photos of Laurels's weight loss journey Photos of Laurels's weight loss journey
"I’ve found a new confidence within myself and I’m eager to try new adventures."

Laurel's weight-loss story

Taking up walking and changing a few key food habits helped Laurel lose more than 70kg all by herself. But when her weight loss plateaued 30kg away from her goal, she knew she needed some fresh ideas, support and something that would make her accountable and would help her new healthy habits stick long term. So, when her sister-in-law asked her to join WeightWatchers in 2019, she jumped at the chance and lost 33kg in six months.

Now, having maintained her weight for more than two years, she’s not only healthier than ever, she says she feels like a completely different person.

What was your 'why'?

“Growing up, I was always the ‘big girl’, but my weight became even more of an issue when my Dad passed away. He was my rock, my world and in that time, I gave up on me. When I reached my heaviest weight, I was isolated. I didn’t want to partake in activities or even catch up with friends. I totally stopped doing all the things I loved. I was depressed without even realising it. When I discovered I had an incurable but treatable heart-lung condition, I had to try and help myself because Dad wouldn’t want me with him.”

Why has WW worked for you?

“It’s because it’s so liveable, which means it’s simply become my life now. In the beginning, WW gave me the accountability I needed to keep me on track and get my weight loss moving again. The weekly meetings and weigh-ins meant I couldn’t try and misrepresent myself – whatever had happened over the week, I had to own it, whether it was positive or not. And importantly, WW also offered me advice and provided me with the tools to help me keep moving forward. But the biggest thing is, WW helped me realise that losing weight isn’t about restrictive eating, it’s all about your mindset. This is something I can and will do forever.”

How’s your health these days, Laurel?

“My health has improved immensely. I’m no longer on medication for my diabetes – in fact, I’m no longer classed as having diabetes. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 25 years ago, this feels incredible. My other big success is that, while I have an incurable disease called pulmonary arterial hypertension, my weight loss means I’m doing so much better now. When my weight was high, my heart was drowning in fluid and its right side became severely damaged. After losing weight, my heart has gone some way towards repairing itself. My cardiologist has told me he’s never had a patient show such major signs of recovery before.”

"I’m extremely proud that I’ve lost 111kg without surgical help. I’m proud of the courage, strength and determination that I have."— Laurel

Join Laurel on WW

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Apart from your health wins, tell us how you feel?

“I’m a completely different person – different mindset, different attitude. I’ve found a new confidence within myself and I’m eager to try new adventures. I no longer sit at the back of a room and I’m confident to talk to new people. I also love that I can shop at any clothing store now, and that nothing is off limits to me. I’m so proud that I’ve turned my life around. And I’m extremely proud that I’ve lost 111kg without surgical help. I’m proud of the courage, strength and determination that I now know I have.”

And now you’re a WW Coach! How’s that going?

“Being accepted to be a Coach actually brought tears to my eyes. I was emotional because this was the first time in a long time that I’d applied myself for employment and done something purely for me. I’m only new to the role, but knowing that I have what it takes to offer advice and to help inspire others brings me so much happiness.”

What’s your advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming a member?

“Often, realising you might want to join WW means you’ve tried losing weight on your own, but have struggled to make it work. So just do it. Come and use the support that’s offered, meet new friends and join a program that’s proven to work.”