A student whose dramatic weight loss left her with an ‘apron stomach’ and ‘breasts like flattened watermelons’ now has the body she’s dreamed of – after her mother paid for her $20,000 skin removal surgery.
Laura Rood, from Las Vegas, who ballooned to 315lbs (22st 7lbs) after bingeing on cake, McDonald’s and pizza, managed to shed 130lbs (nine stone) after having part of her stomach removed in 2015.
But the 32-year-old paralegal student, who now weighs 185lbs, says her body reminded her of the alien from the movie E.T because of the excess skin she was left with.
Now her transformation is complete, after her mother Joan Rood fulfilled a promise she made to her daughter 15 years earlier – to pay for cosmetic surgery if Laura lost weight.
Laura Rood, from Las Vegas in Nevada, (pictured above) has managed to lose a whopping nine stone after restricting her diet and doing daily exercise
The 32-year-old has since had skin removal surgery (pictured afterwards) which her mother agreed to pay for if she could successfully lose weight
Joan, from Florida, paid over $20,000 for Laura to have 11lbs of excess skin removed from her stomach, and to take her ‘flattened’ breasts from an H to an E cup.
Laura, who weighed 315lbs at her heaviest, says she struggled with her weight all her life, as she used food to deal with her problems.
‘When I was 16-years-old, my mother told me that if I got to a healthy weight and needed to have something done cosmetically she would pay for it.
‘As a 31-year-old, she did that for me and it was an amazing gift that I’ll never be able to fully thank her for.
‘It cost over $20,000, I couldn’t have ever afforded that, now when I look in the mirror I don’t feel bad about how I look which is amazing.
‘Before I really struggled. I had worked so hard but still had a hanging belly, nothing fit me properly and it played on my brain a lot,’ she said.
‘I had such a bad self-image that when I saw a picture of E.T with all of his sagging skin it reminded me of my own body.
‘I had an apron stomach that went down to my thighs, it was almost impossible to disguise.
‘My breasts were like two flattened watermelons stuck to my chest, which limited my confidence and stopped me from being able to work-out and run comfortably.’
Fulfilling her 15-year-old vow, Laura’s mother Joan (pictured on the left with Laura at her heaviest in 2014) forked out $20,000 (£16,500) on surgery to remove 11lbs of skin from her daughter’s stomach and transformed her ‘hanging’ H-cup breasts to E-cups
Laura’s mother Joan Rood, from Bradenton in Florida, admitted she doubted she would ever have to fulfill her promise to her daughter.
‘Initially I believed it was just talk, I honestly never assumed she would get around to losing the weight,’ Joan said.
‘But once she did I wanted to honour my word.
‘It would have broken my heart to have seen her work so hard towards her goals and dreams only to have the excess skin get in the way of her truly enjoying her new life and wonderful achievements.’
Due to having such a rotund stomach area, Laura was left with masses of excess skin that she joked made her look like E.T (above)
Laura (pictured before her weight loss) says she worked hard to lose the weight but still had a ‘hanging’ belly and nothing fitted her properly
LAURA’S DIET BEFORE SHE LOST WEIGHT…
Breakfast – nothing
Lunch – McDonalds double quarter pounder with cheese large fries and coke
Snack – chips, candy, drinking soda
Dinner – one whole large pizza
Dessert – one massive piece of cake
… AND AFTER HER TRANSFORMATION
Breakfast – protein shake with yoghurt
Snack – slice of string cheese
Lunch – green salad with coconut vinegar, avocado oil, hemp seed, black seeds, chia seeds and cheese with 4oz of protein.
Snacks – yoghurt
Dinner – protein drink, soup or yoghurt
Laura’s weight spiralled out of control during her unhappy first marriage, and as she leaned on food while suffering from depression following the death of her father.
After countless failed diet attempts, the paralegal student finally had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy – which saw surgeons remove part of her stomach in 2015.
Her subsequent reduced appetite – combined with a strict diet and daily exercise – helped her to lose nine stone (130lbs).
Fulfilling her 15-year-old vow, Laura’s mother forked out $20,000 (£16,500) on surgery to remove 11lbs of skin from her daughter’s stomach and transform her ‘hanging’ H-cup breasts to E-cups.
Laura (above) says: ‘When I was 16-years-old, my mother told me that if I got to a healthy weight and needed to have something done cosmetically she would pay for it. As a 31-year-old, she did that for me and it was an amazing gift that I’ll never be able to fully thank her for’
‘Mum was so proud, it meant the world to me that she offered to upkeep her promise from all those years ago,’ said Laura.
‘Now when I look in the mirror, instead of seeing an overweight woman, I see a happy, healthy one who can stand on her own two feet and isn’t hiding away any more.’
From a young age, Laura used food to deal with her problems but things worsened after her marriage turned emotionally abusive.
Laura said: ‘During my marriage, I ended up gained 100lbs from depression and poor self-image, you don’t realise food is such a comfort to you.
‘I remember my ex-husband saying no one else would ever love me because I was so big.
‘Hearing that degrades you to your core, you look at yourself differently. When the person who is supposed to love you sits there telling you the world doesn’t care about you it hurts a lot.
‘Looking back, I know I used food and weight gain to create a physical barrier between myself and my husband to keep him away from me.’
Laura’s binge eating worsened when her father Norman passed away in 2008.
‘After my father died, I lost a part of me and slipped into a depression where food was my only comfort,’ she said.
But two years ago, she finally decided to change her life for good by having bariatric surgery and within a year had dropped down to a healthy 185lbs (13 stone 2lbs).
Two years ago, Laura chose to change her life by having bariatric surgery (pictured above) and within a year had dropped down to a healthy 13stone 2 (185lb)
Laura’s (above) mother says she thought she was a lazy person before but since the weight loss has stepped up and driven herself forward everyday – and she says it is because she has a newfound confidence she didn’t have before
Mother Joan, from Bradenton, Florida, and daughter Laura (pictured above) who now looks unrecognisable after her mother fulfilled her childhood promise and paid for excess skin removal surgery
Laura believes that sticking to her post-surgery diet and small changes to her daily routine helped her to lose weight.
She said: ‘I tried not to sit as much, parked further away from stores, I changed little habits to get a little more active and it made a huge difference for my weight loss.’
Now Laura isn’t letting anything hold her back, and has even started blogging about surgery to encourage others to consider the option that changed her life.
She said: ‘The biggest part for me was that I got myself here, I made the decisions I needed to make, took responsibility and took ownership of my own life.