'I have never looked back' - Laura tells the story of her weight loss journey
AFTER shedding an incredible four stone in just three months, Milford mum Laura Legg has drawn on her own experiences battling post-natal depression and binge eating to galvanise others when they are at their lowest ebb.
After struggling to balance family life with a high-flying career at an investment bank, Laura (36) made the decision to become a Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant.
She had seen first-hand the amazing results of the diet, and wanted to help others turn their lives around in the way she had.
“Since that point I have never looked back,” said the mother of two. “My career as a weight loss consultant is absolutely the most rewarding thing I have ever done bar having my children.
“I have seen and helped hundreds of people – from mothers who are struggling to conceive because they are overweight to clients with complex medical issues, such as type 2 diabetes. The fact that I’m able to help people when they are at their lowest point is just amazing.”
Laura works from home and sees clients on a one-to-one basis, offering meal planning, motivation, weigh-ins with full body scanning scales and nutrition advice. Consultations are free, with the only cost to her clients being for the Cambridge meals purchased.
The cost of the diet usually ranges around £5 to £7.50 a day depending on whether clients opt for a full meal replacement regime or a partial option with conventional healthy food.
Laura’s own journey with Cambridge Weight Plan began four years ago after she ballooned from a size 10 to a size 20 following the birth of her two children.
Originally from Fife near Edinburgh, Laura worked as a compliance manager at Investec, a specialist wealth and investment management firm, covering the south of England.
“It was a very male dominated industry and it took quite a lot of determination and gruelling professional exams for me to push my way up – being female and having grown up on a council estate, my background was worlds apart from many of my colleagues.”
After deciding to start a family with her husband Oliver – a senior investment director – Laura sadly suffered four miscarriages within a period of two years.
“It was a really difficult time for us and suddenly I was faced with something I had no control over,” she said. “I was still working full-time and travelling all over the country, and comfort eating became a real problem.”
After falling pregnant for a fifth time, Laura had Hamish in 2012.
She recalled: “I was quite new to the area so I didn’t have my family and old friends around and my confidence was shattered. I suffered badly with post-natal depression – and after coming from the corporate world, I felt under a lot of pressure to be a perfect mum.”
Laura returned to work part-time at Investec when Hamish was a year old, and had two further miscarriages before falling pregnant with her daughter Ivy, who was born in December 2013 after a traumatic pregnancy.
“I was in a cycle of binge eating, my self-esteem was at its lowest point and I knew that something had to change,” she said.
Laura admits she was initially dubious about the Cambridge Weight Plan but, having tried and failed at other diets, decided to give it a try when she finished breastfeeding Ivy.
“My perception was that it was a bit of a fad diet but I thought I would give it a go,” she said. “After meeting with my consultant, I realised that it was a scientifically put together plan with backing from medical professionals.
“The first few days were very hard as it was a huge mindset change, but having a plan gave me back control because I knew what I was going to be eating every day and structure had returned to my life. After a week I’d lost nine pounds.”
Laura returned to work when Ivy was nine months old, but struggled to balance family and work life. “I was just exhausted, and when my Cambridge consultant suggested that I could train to do what she was doing, I decided to give it a go.”
Initially seeing clients during evenings and weekends, Laura’s work as a weight loss consultant quickly escalated. “Within a few months I had 10 clients and after a year I had 20,” she explained. “I suddenly realised I could do this as my job and I have never once looked back.
“Since beginning as a consultant I have been to two weddings for brides who have lost five and six stone, and there have been three ‘Cambridge babies’ who were born to mums who had to lose weight to conceive. My biggest loser shed an incredible 11 stone!”
Laura continued: “Doing this job is amazing – I love the fact that I am able to help people when they are at their lowest point. I get very attached to all my clients and I celebrate every milestone with them, because it’s a journey I have been on myself.”
Laura now sees around 45 clients a week on a one-to-one basis, when she plans their meals with them and talks them through the week ahead. She also has several clients with complex medical needs so links up with local GPs and the medical team from Cambridge Weight Plan to develop bespoke individualised plans.
She said: “My clients are men and women currently ranging in age from 22 up to 78. As well as meal planning, I have also been undertaking independent qualifications so I can re-educate clients about portion sizes and what makes a healthy meal.
“In Hampshire alone, approximately 65% of the adult population is carrying excess weight, which puts a huge burden on the NHS, so empowering people to take back control of their own diet and weight is incredibly rewarding.”
Laura’s next goals are to work with her personal trainer Maria Claridge to enable clients to develop healthy lifestyles through exercise, and undertake a counselling course.
She said: “I have found that with binge eating and overeating in general there are often real underlying issues, and I like to be able to help clients more with addressing those.”
As well as meal replacement shakes and smoothies, the Cambridge Weight Plan offers options like porridge, spaghetti Bolognese, rice dishes, cereal bars, snack bites and microwaveable meals.
Laura no longer uses the Cambridge products herself, with the exception of the occasional snack bar, but maintains her weight by working out and eating a balanced low carbohydrate diet.
She said: “On weekends I still want to be able to enjoy a gin and tonic or a slice of birthday cake, but I also recognise that in the past, food was my comfort and it’s about learning to control that.
“Maintaining weight loss is probably the hardest part of the journey, and that is why I always say I’m still here for my clients when they reach their target weight, I don’t give up on them when they reach their goal.
For more information about the Cambridge Weight Plan, now known as the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, visit www.cambridgeweightplan.com
To contact Laura, email email@example.com or call 07793 232077.