The bullies called me Shrek at school…now people call me the Princess Fiona
When Paige Morris, 19 from East Kilbride had enough of being bullied she wanted to become the princess she always dreamed of…
“You are the ugliest girl in the school,” a girl shouted out in the corridor. I knew she aimed the abuse at me.
“Please leave me alone,” I pleaded, as I turned around to confront the gang of bullies.
“Why should we? Because you look like Shrek and you might eat us? She said, as the rest of the group laughed.
“I hate you all,” I screamed, as I ran down the corridor to get away from them and spend the rest of the day hiding from everyone, especially the bullies.
This wasn’t the first time this had happened, for me it was a daily occurrence at school.
They made my life hell and knocked my confidence.
I hated the way I looked and believed what they said to me.
When I was little, before I was picked on, I dreamed of being a princess, but it didn’t turn out that way.
I was always a little overweight, and would eat loads of sweets, chocolate and crisps.
But when the bullies picked on me, I just ate more.
I would gorge on chocolate, takeaways and fizzy drinks, which made me feel better for a short while, but it just gave the bullies more ammunition.
I had tried all the different diets, like the Atkins, South Sea and Weight Watchers, but I could never stick to them.
The longest I would last on a diet, would be a month, then it would be back to high fat foods, morning, noon and night.
I couldn’t wait to leave school and when I left school at 16 I thought I could put the past behind me.
I went to a hairdressing college and I thought the bullying would end, but it continued.
The same old nicknames, but this time from new people.
I was severely depressed and even contemplated ending it all.
I spent months sinking deeper and deeper into despair.
Would my life ever turn around?
It would. I met a guy called Joe, 25 through a mutual friend.
We started dating and for the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt happy.
He didn’t care how big I was, but he knew I had very low self-esteem. One day I broke down in front of him,
“I don’t want to be like this anymore.” I said.
“What do you mean?” he replied.
“I am sick of being the fat girl, the butt of everyone’s jokes,” I replied, with a tear in my eye.
“I understand, but I love you that way you are,” he said.
“I know, but I want to feel special inside too,” I said.
“Ok well, you know I will support you in everything you do,” he said.
“I know and that’s why I love you,” I said, as I hugged him.
It took me a while to build up the confidence to really address my weight problem, but eventually when I was 18, I decided to do something about it.
I wanted to change my life and get out of the hole I had dug for myself.
I had saved some money for a rainy day and decided I could get a gastric by-pass to lose my excess fat.
By this time I was 20 stone and a size 22, there was no doubt I was obese. My health was failing and I worried about the long term implications of being so huge.
The only problem was I didn’t have all the money I needed for the surgery, which was £11,000. A lot of money for an 18-year-old
I asked my family and they scrapped the money together to make me enough money. They were all behind me and knew what a tough time I had had growing up.
Eventually in August 2012, I went under the knife.
When I came out of surgery I felt awful, I could barely move and couldn’t eat any food.
I regretted getting the surgery; nothing could feel this bad surely?
Over the next few weeks I didn’t feel much better. If anything I felt worse, I thought I was going to die.
Luckily, Joe was there to nurse me back to health.
It took about a month the feel normal again.
I noticed that my weight had begun to drop off. I had already lost over a stone and a dress size, maybe it was all worth it?
Over the next few months the weight dropped off.
I qualified as a hairdresser, lost nine stones and I am now eleven stone.
I have dropped from a 22 dress size to a size 10.
I looked and felt great, my confidence came back. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and my stomach!
All those horrible nicknames, all the taunts in the playground, were now in the past. I wouldn’t let them hurt me anymore.
I was a new person. The person they called Shrek wasn’t me anymore.
I dyed my hair, bought a whole new wardrobe and started going to the gym every day.
I no longer ate takeaways or any other junk food. I swapped all the unhealthy food for salad, fruit and grilled fish.
Due to the surgery I could only eat tiny portions anyway, so it was almost impossible to put on weight.
I looked better and felt better. My life had finally turned around.
I even bumped into the bullies from school a few times since I have lost the weight.
Their jaws hit the floor when they realised it was me.
They literally didn’t know who I was. They were staring at me enviously because all the men in the bar were looking at me and not them.
I had literally wiped the smiled off their faces.
I feel great now, I can’t believe the difference it has made to my confidence.
But my story got even better than that, when somebody said,
“I know people called you Shrek in the past, well now you look like Princess Fiona.”
I am now the princess I always dreamed of, and I have Joe, my prince charming.
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