A mum lost over nine stone after being “mortified” when looking back at photographs of herself on a dream family holiday.
Laila Aboushakra flew to Florida in May 2019 to fulfil a lifelong dream of swimming with dolphins and booked a professional photographer to capture the magic moment.
But, when the 37-year-old received her pictures back, she said she could barely recognise herself in the photographs.
Her weight had spiralled up to 25 stone after eating takeaways almost every second day of the week.
She also used to drink up to five bottles of Lucozade daily but hadn’t noticed the weight slowly creeping up.
After seeing her holiday photographs, Laila, from Liverpool, was spurred on to change her diet and get fit.
Now, after losing over nine stone, Laila has launched her own personal training business and hopes to help others reach their fitness goals.
Laila said: “I went to Florida in May 2019 and my dream came true swimming with dolphins in Discovery Cove.
“The professional picture we got back I was mortified to see how I got myself in that state as I had never been that person before.
“I was always in denial. I knew I should lose the weight even the doctors told me I needed too. I hated people taking pictures of me.
“So I decided when I came back from Florida it was time to change for good. I wanted to make sure I live longer to see my daughter grow in adulthood and do things with her life.”
Laila, who would eat four slices of white toast for breakfast, started completely changing her eating habits.
She now prepares her meals in advance and has swapped sugary, fizzy drinks with three litres of water per day.
In December, Leila launched her own training business and has set her sights on gaining a boxing coaching qualification.
Laila added: “I used to have too many portions of things, I did eat a lot of takeaways every other day and would just pick all day.
“I’ve gone from four to five bottles of Lucozade a day to three litres of bottle of water a day.
“It is about living longer, I wasn’t going to live till old age if I didn’t sort myself out.
“I was 25 stone and now I am 14 stone but I am not finished.”
At £30 a go, this Anker’s Fish and Chip Challenge isn’t for the fainthearted. You have 60 minutes to chomp through one large deep fried haddock fillet, a stack of buttered bread and four pots of sauces (beans, curry sauce, mushy peas and gravy).
If you clear your plate within the time limit, you get to stick your hand in their prize pot and potentially get your meal for free.