Mother, 27, who weighed 25 stone, shamed into losing half her body weight after being told she is too wide for fairground ride
Safety bar wouldn't fit over Laura Bourne's stomach
Ditched junk food and lost 13 stone
Dropped from size 26 to size 12
11:55 GMT, 19 November 2012
A mother-of-two was shamed into losing more than half her body weight after she was forced to get off a fairground ride – because she was too fat.
Laura Bourne, 27, was left a laughing stock when the ride’s safety bar wouldn’t go past her bulging stomach on a family day out.
After the embarrassing incident, she made a promise to herself to ditch the junk food – and now she has lost almost 13 stone.
Laura Bourne made a promise to herself to ditch the junk food – and now she has lost almost 13 stone after being humiliated at the fairground
Laura, from Birmingham, West Midlands, said: 'My little boy begged me to go on the pirate ship with him so we queued and got on the ride all excited.
'We waited for it to start but there was a problem. The bar made a weird, loud noise and wouldn’t shut past my huge stomach. I had to get off the ride.
'I wanted the world to swallow me up.
'The next morning I went to my GP and asked him to help me lose weight.'
Health care assistant Laura has always struggled with her weight but ballooned to a size 26 and nearly 25 stone in August 2010.
She said: 'I remember being at school and wearing adults clothes.
'I knew I was bigger but it didn’t really bother me. I was a bubbly person.
'When you’re big, you never think: “I best not eat that take away.” You just eat it.
Laura dropped from size 26 to a trim size 12 after she was too fat to fit on a fairground ride
She once enjoyed gorging on McDonalds and kebabs but has since had to adopt a much stricter diet after weight loss surgery
'I loved kebabs and McDonalds but a normal size portion wasn’t enough.'
Laura has been on and off diets all her life. The most she lost was six stone but the weight crept back on after she gave birth to sons Kai, eight, and two-year-old Zane – plus an extra two stone.
Three months after giving birth to her second son Zane, Laura and her partner Craig McIntosh, 29, decided to take Kai to a local theme park as a treat.
She said: 'Straight away Kai was going on all the rides. I stood and watched him enjoy himself as I always did.
'I wanted to be join him but as I was a “big” girl, I was petrified I wouldn’t fit.
Laura has been on and off diets all her life but her weight began to creep back on after giving birth
'I’d seen someone not fit in a ride when I was a younger and it stuck with me forever. I always said I would never get that big.
'I never thought it would happen to me but it did.
'The guy running the ride kept trying to push the bar down. I had to pretend I wanted to get off. He shouted at me to come back but I knew it was no good.
'Kai was asking what was wrong and he got really upset.
When Laura woke up from the operation, the pain hit her but she was happy her new life was beginning
'It ruined the whole day.'
But it was the wake up call Laura needed.
She said: 'When my doctor suggested surgery, I was shocked. I didn’t think I was that big.
'I had to step on the scales to see if I qualified and when I did, I almost fainted.
'He said surgery was my only option. I’d tried everything and it hadn’t worked. The yo-yo dieting could affect my health.
'I was 25 and almost 25 stone. I was killing myself and something needed to be done.'
Laura was referred to a surgeon who told her she needed a gastric bypass.
Before the operation, she had to go on a liquid diet for a month to help shrink her liver – and she shed three and a half stone.
Laura said: 'Craig didn’t want me to have the operation. He was worried about the risks but he said he supported my decision.
'I was petrified too. I didn’t want to die and leave my children without a mum but if I carried on going the way I was, I would die anyway.
'When I woke up from the operation, the pain hit me but I was happy my new life was beginning.
'The next few months were hard. I had to get my head around the new eating plan. For the first two weeks, I could only drink fluids.
'Slowly, I started eating food but much smaller portions.
'Eating out wasn’t easy. I had to watch my family tucking into a nice meal while I had soup or a salad but fitting into a smaller dress size felt much better than any food could make me feel.'
After four months, she had lost more than five stone.
Her partner Craig didn't want her to have to operation because he worried about the risks but supported her decision
Laura regularly works out at the gym and east well, maintaining that surgery isn't the easy way out
Laura, who is now a trim size 12, warns surgery isn’t an easy way out and she has worked hard to maintain her figure.
She said: 'Everyday is a battle. I’ve joined a slimming group to take control of what I eat and I go to the gym four times a week.
'I can now enjoy things like other people can.
'I can run around the park with my children, fit in a plane seat without an extension belt, sit on a garden chair without the fear of it breaking and walk up the stairs without getting out of breath.
'I took my sons back to that theme park recently and back to the pirate ship where all this began.
'I felt like I was going to have a heart attack as I sat in the seat. What if I didn’t fit in
'When the bar came down, I closed my eyes. It was the best feeling ever. I cried, laughed then cried some more.
'Now I’m the mum I should have always been.'