A MOTHER-of-one is literally half the woman she was after shedding half her bodyweight within 18-months.

Laura Hope, 26, of Montrose Street, Darlington weighed 20st 10lbs at the start of last year and rarely left the house.

She vowed to do something about her size and joined a Weight Watchers group in January 2011 which she credits with helping her to lose an incredible 150lbs and smash her target weight of 10st 5lbs.

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She now weighs 10st 2lbs and says the experience has changed her life.

“My partner Michael has seen many changes in me; I never went out of the house much when I was overweight, now I feel like I’m allowed a life and I love it!” said Miss Hope.

“I hated clothes shopping before, I only wore hoodies and jeans, now I feel amazing going into a normal sized clothing shop and buying something off the rail.

“Everything has changed for me, I’m a different person now, happier, healthier.

“I gained self-confidence, got myself a job and really changed my life.”

Miss Hope, who has an eight-year-old son, Marshall, followed the Weight Watchers Pro Points diet plan and her Weight Watchers group leader Jan Breakingbury said her achievement is among the most dramatic she has seen in her 13-years in the job.

“She is absolutely amazing,” said Mrs Breakingbury.

“It makes the job so worthwhile when you see what people like Laura can achieve.

“For such a young person to do that is just incredible; she has so much confidence now, it is like two different people from when she first joined.”