A SINGLE mum-of-one was shamed into losing 10 stone after a cruel stranger sneered she was “pretty… for a fat girl.“
Tanya Austin, 26, from Weston-Super-Mare, had always felt like the fat friend on nights out with her mates because of her 24 stone frame.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, she said: “I hated my size 24 frame. All my friends were so skinny and glamorous but I was always spilling out of my outfit.
“I’d been large my whole adult life, ever since I was in my late teens. Then when I started enjoying boozy nights out as I got older, things only got worse.”
Although Tanya hated how she looked, she couldn’t shift the pounds and decided to throw herself into partying instead.
She said: “I hated the way I looked, but I didn’t want to be the fat friend that was always moaning about being big. So instead, I threw myself into being the life and soul of the party.
“I drank a lot of cider on nights out and with no time to cook, I’d order at least four takeaways a week. I knew I had bad habits but I just couldn’t see how I could enjoy my social life and be slim.
“I kept up my fun facade, pretending I was this bubbly and confident person, but deep down I hated my figure. When I saw pictures of myself, I was mortified. But I still couldn’t seem to shed the pounds.
“I just ate my feelings instead. It wasn’t long before my weight spiralled out of control and I was massive size 24, weighing over 24 stone.”
When I saw pictures of myself, I was mortified. But I still couldn’t seem to shed the pounds
As her body ballooned, Tanya’s confidence plummeted, and soon she was shying away from dating altogether – because she was too scared to eat in front of romantic partners.
Tanya said: “I must have appeared to be in denial, I was so busy pretending that I wasn’t bothered about my size, but others had certainly noticed I had a big problem.
“When a date suggested I should swap my drinks order from Coke to Diet Coke, I was humiliated. I didn’t listen though. Instead of ditching the full-fat Coke, I ditched my date.
“I stopped dating and soon, I began avoiding eating out all together. I was convinced people would stare at me.
“At that point, I suddenly realised what everyone must think of me. I saw what strangers saw – a hugely overweight young woman.
“I kept going out with my mates, pretending to be happy, but I hated my body so much.
“I would watch my friends as they paired off with handsome strangers on nights out, but I was always left alone. I was the eternal fat friend.”
Then one night, a stranger dropped a brutal bombshell.
“It was just another night out,” Tanya said. “I was with some girls and a group of guys were talking to us.
“We were having a laugh and joking around, but suddenly one of the men just turned to me and said: ‘You’re pretty… for a fat girl.’ I was gobsmacked.”
I’d always known I was the fat friend, but the cruel stranger’s words had really confirmed it. For me, that was the final straw
Poor Tanya was mortified by the cruel jibe, but brushed it off. She said: “I pretended to my friends that I didn’t care, but deep down I was heartbroken.
“I’d always known I was the fat friend, but the cruel stranger’s words had really confirmed it.
“For me, that was the final straw. I signed up to every diet I could think of in a desperate bid to lose weight, but I just couldn’t stick to any of them.
“Old habits die hard and every time, I’d slip back into my old ways and order a takeaway. Afterwards, I’d just think there was no point. I just couldn’t stop myself.”
But despite Tanya’s lack of motivation, the stranger’s words continued to haunt her, and when she fell pregnant after a short fling in 2015 she decided it was time to change for good.
She said: “It wasn’t anything serious, and I certainly hadn’t planned a baby, but falling pregnant was a dream come true. I was really excited.
“When I gave birth to my son, Logan, in April 2016, I was filled with so much love. But that bloke in the bar’s jibe had stayed with me and now, as a single mum, it felt so much more poignant.
“I didn’t want to be the fat mum in the school playground. I had to lose weight to be a role model for Logan.”
Inspired by love for her son, Tanya threw out all the junk food from her cupboards and took control of her diet.
“Within a few weeks, the weight was falling off me,” she said.. “I felt fantastic and when I lost four stone in a matter of months, I was so proud.
“But I seemed to plateau there and I knew I’d need some extra support to shift the rest of the weight. So in August 2016, I signed up to Slimming World.
“Within the first week of following their plan, I had already started to lose weight again.”
Tanya continued to lose weight at a steady rate and within a year she had shed a further eight stone, losing a staggering 12 stone in total.
Tanya says: “Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so when I realised I could still have a cooked breakfast each morning and lose weight, I was so happy.
“I couldn’t believe I’d lost 12 stone. I don’t think it really hit home until I finally slipped into a size 12 dress. I felt amazing. I’d spent years admiring thinner women, and now I was finally one of them.
Tanya’s diet: before & after
Tanya’s diet before:
Breakfast: Full fry up
Lunch: Two chicken tikka slices, fizzy drink
Dinner: Sweet and sour chicken balls, curry, ribs, cider
Snacks: Crisps and dip, chocolate, pasty, cider
Tanya’s diet after:
Breakfast: Wholemeal bread, sausage, poached egg and beans
Lunch: Subway salad, water
Dinner: Chilli and rice
Snacks: Slimming world bar, fruit
“My first night out after the weight loss was life changing. I no longer had to pretend to be confident, I really did feel fantastic. It felt incredible to finally ditch that label of the ‘fat friend’.
“When a guy at the bar told me I was beautiful, I was over the moon. He didn’t qualify it with ‘for a fat girl’, and for the first time I believe him.”
Tanya now weighs 12 stone and she has just purchased her first size 10 outfit. Her weight loss has even given her the courage to start dating again.
“I hated dating when I was big,” said Tanya. “But now I’m loving it. I’ve even signed up to a dating website, and this time I’ll be making sure they take me on dinner dates.
“I love my size 12 figure, I’m so happy I managed to shed the weight. When that stranger made his cruel comment, I was mortified.
“But I’m glad he said it – he encouraged me to lose 12 stone and now, I’m no longer pretty for a fat girl.”
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