Norwich school teaching assistant sheds the pounds

Blimey miss! You've changed.

You would never guess looking at Norwich teaching assistant Lauren Reeder that she used to struggle to find clothes to fit her.

But a year ago, the 22-year-old, who works at Magdalen Gates Primary School, was forced to buy men's clothes as she was a size 20 and weighed 16st 10lbs.

Because she had to buy a man's jacket as a new winter coat, Miss Reeder, who loved snacks, decided it was time to shed the pounds.

And after 10 months at Weightwatchers in Lowestoft and taking up swimming, Miss Reeder is receiving compliments galore as she shows her new look size 10 figure after losing 6st 5lbs.

As well as wearing clothes she wants, instead of choosing ones to suit her size, Miss Reeder's healthier diet and sessions at Bungay pool helped her get out of a dangerous situation.

In November, she was driving along a road between Beccles and Bungay when she skidded on some black ice and ended up in a ditch.

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Because of her slimmer size, she was able to squeeze out of her car and avoid possible injuries and the humiliation of people seeing her wedged in the vehicle.

Miss Reeder, who lives in Thistledown, in Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, said: 'I feel fantastic now. I do not feel as tired now and I make an effort to be more active, which helps.

'I have a more get-up-and-go approach to life now, which involves swimming on a Sunday morning. I would not have done that before.

'In fact, I feel a bit embarrassed when people compliment me on how I look.'

Miss Reeder's healthier diet sees her eating fruit three times a day and she enjoys salmon and jacket potatoes with broccoli.

Describing the reason she finally joined Weightwatchers, Miss Reeder said: 'I suppose the last straw for me was when I wanted to buy a new winter coat and every one was too tight. It is disheartening when you go to a bigger size and you are the biggest size in the shop.'

Miss Reeder said her boyfriend Chris Bradford, a 23-year-old cabinet maker was 'over the moon' with her now look.

Emma Roberts, who runs the Weightwatchers sessions at the Uplands Community Centre, said: 'Lauren is fantastic.

'I am extremely proud of her achievement and she is a brilliant example of how anyone can join and successfully lose weight.'

Have you been inspired to lose a lot of weight? Contact reporter Anthony Carroll on 01502 525835 or email