Taunted in the playground as a child, Amy never forgot the cruel jibes from school bullies who nicknamed her the ‘BFG’ – after the Big Friendly Giant from the Roald Dahl book.
Tipping the scales at a whopping 24st 7lbs and towering over her peers at 6ft tall, Amy looked shockingly different. After she left college Amy continued to pile on the pounds and before long she struggled to find shops stocking clothes to fit her ginormous size 26 figure. It was only when the 26-year-old realised she weighed only slightly less than her age, she knew she had to do something about her size. She ditched the junk food and joined a gym. Now the teaching assistant is just one third of the women she used to be after losing an incredible nine stone.
Amy, from Darlington, County Durham, can finally grab a size 14 off the rack and weighs a healthier 14st. She’s traded in her baggy, dark and unflattering clothes for short skirts, colourful dresses and high heels. Amy said: “I hated school. I was bullied really badly because I was so fat. “The other girls would constantly stare, laugh and point as my belly jiggled. “They would call me BFG – like the Big Friendly Giant from the Roald Dahl book – only when they used it it stood for big fat girl. “It was a vicious cycle as the cruel remarks would only make my eating worse. Food was comforting and I enjoyed binging. “It didn’t help I was really tall and had size nine feet. “One bully even threatened to kill me. I used to keep my head down and take my school life a day at a time.
“I only had two friends and sometimes I felt as if they didn’t want to hang around with me because I was so big.” The bullying got so bad that Amy started to attend counselling sessions to help improve her low self-esteem. “I’ve been going along to sessions since the age of 18. I’ve tried to block out the bullies nasty remarks but some remain. I’ll always be the BFG in my eyes,” she explained. “I used to suffer from really bad depression because I just loved junk food. “I would stuff my face with carbs: Pizza, pasta, garlic bread, cheese, cakes, sweets and chocolate on a daily basis. “At one point I was so big, I literally couldn’t buy clothes in shops. I was forced to order my clothes from a plus size website, which always made me look older. “I used to hide my flab under baggy dark hoody’s, shapeless jeans and unflattering hats. I looked like a whale. I was so ashamed and eating was my only release.”
Amy had no confidence and had no respect for herself or her body. She would gorge on an entire extra-large bar of Galaxy chocolate and a packet of Haribo every evening, washing down the calories with a large glass of sugary fruit juice. “I was addicted to Starbucks. I used to visit the store two times a day six days a week. I was a gold member,” she said. “The employees and I were on a first name basis and they always had my drink ready before I opened the door. “A large double caramel macchiato, extra caramel sugar syrup, extra caramel waffle, extra caramel sauce, extra cream, sprinkles and three sugars. I would look forward to my coffee and sugar fix.” Amy’s diet did her figure no favours and when summer rolled around she dreaded going outside.
She would get hot in her baggy, dark clothes and going away abroad was a thought that made her skin crawl. When Amy did venture out her house to go on holiday, she wouldn’t sit by the pool. Embarrassed of her frumpy figure she would cover up in an over-sized t-shirt and a pair of baggy skater-shorts – while sitting in the shade feeling sorry for herself. “When I used to go abroad, I wanted to leave before I even arrived. I didn’t own any nice holiday clothes. I felt like an outcast against the smaller women in their bikinis. “I have never felt attractive. I would rarely leave my house as people would stare and call me hurtful names.”Still Amy couldn’t kick her food addiction.
She had a weakness for sweets and grazed on anything that was deep fat fried and full of cheese. “My favourite thing to eat was the northern delicacy, Parmo. It’s a deep fried breadcrumb chicken the size of my face, smothered in garlic mayo, lathered in cheese, with a large portion of cheesy chips and more mayo. “I was a sucker for sweets and I would do anything for a large bag of Haribo. I used to iron my flatmates clothes and they would buy me a bag each. It was better than money. My weight was spiralling out of control and I didn’t want to do anything about it. “Only after scoffing lots of chocolate eggs over the Easter period, I decided to ditch my dirty eating. “My weight was making me unhappy. I was desperate to lose my bouncing belly and huge tree trunk thighs.”
Her weight really hit home when she was invited to an indoor sky diving session. Amy refused the invitation as she was horrified her weight wouldn’t be lifted by the blast of air. She knew it was time to do something about her size. She started going to the gym and cut out junk food. She swapped her fruit juice for water and traded in the chocolate for vegetables. “I signed up to my local gym and a personal trainer. I would have three sessions a week with, Steven Virtue, 26. I would find it so hard and would leave the gym exhausted, wanting to give up,” she explained. “I got into more of routine and started going on the days I didn’t have a personal training session. I noticed my weight fall off.
“At first I would start with a brisk walk and then build up to a run. I was afraid the running machine wouldn’t hold my weight and the belt would stop going around when I stood on it. “My asthma used to be so bad I could barely walk up the stairs without taking a puff, now I don’t even know where it is.” Now the newly-found fitness fanatic trains at the gym seven days a week with three personal training sessions. Her flab fell off when she rehauled her diet and cut out the carbs instead opting for chicken and vegetables with water and green tea. As a student Amy was guzzling four litres of cider a night. Now she drinks five litres of water a day. And as her waist line shrank Amy’s confidence bloomed. Before long she was unrecognisable to family and friends.
“I had to buy a whole new wardrobe when I lost my whale like weight and I can’t believe I can now wear colourful skirts, vests, beautiful dresses and high heels,” she said. “I feel amazing. The gym and my diet is now a part of my life, it’s my routine, like breathing. “Me and my friends can both fit into my old jeans and we still need a belt to keep the trousers up. I have pinned them on my wall to remind me how fat I was. ‘My friend, Jenny, 26. Who I’ve known since I was four and see most days, always walks past me on the street. “Even my family don’t recognise me and my boyfriend finds it hard to believe I finally have a waist.” Amy would tower over her friends but now her smaller frame means she finally feels like a female. Bullies from school who used to tease Amy try to get back into contact with her since she’s lost her tubby tummy. “I feel great and I’m so proud of myself. I want to lose another two to four stone. No one can call me BFG now. “I’m happy all the time. Even the children I help teach have noticed a difference in my weight, clothes and mood.”
Breakfast – A large bowl of sugary cereal, four cups of tea with three sugars, two pieces of toast with butter and jam
Morning snack – Biscuits and a cup of tea with three sugars
Lunch – Ham and chicken sandwich with mayonnaise, one bag of crisps, one chocolate bar, two pork pies and two scotch eggs
Afternoon Snacks – A bag of haribo, biscuits and one large coffee from Starbucks
Dinner – Cheesy lasagne, cheesy garlic bread, a large glass of fruit juice
Evening Snacks – A large bar of galaxy chocolate and a large coffee
Breakfast – Protein Shake
Mid-morning snack – Egg white omelette with spinach
Dinner – Three rice cakes and cottage cheese
Afternoon Snack – Nuts
Dinner – Chicken salad and broccoli
Evening Snack – Green tea
If you have a weight loss story to sell to the national press, please get in touch with us today. We are the UK’s largest independent press agency, and our features team love helping amazing slimmers sell their stories to inspire hundreds of others. Simply fill out the contact form on the right hand side of this page, and we’ll get back to you to find out more, and tell you how much your story is worth.
You can see some of the slimming stories that we’ve recently helped clients share with the press here: https://www.sellusyourstory.com/news/category/weight-loss-slimming/