A student who was 'crushed' after being branded a WHALE by the lad she fancied at school finally had her 'empowering' moment when she rejected him – after dropping FOUR dress sizes.
Isobel Morrey said that from the age of 11 she felt out of place due to her weight, hated her body 'with a passion' and at her largest in January 2020 was a size 14 and creeping up to a size 16.
The 18-year-old claims scrolling through images of 'glamorous' girls on social media fuelled the bad relationship she had with her body.
After crying about her weight for days on end she embarked on the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan in March 2020 and hasn't looked back since.
After just six months she reached a slinky size 6/8 and claims losing weight 'for herself' has been 'life-changing' for her confidence and has even donned a bikini for the very first time.
However one of her most satisfying achievements came when she was able to brush off a former crush who fat-shamed her – a 'full-circle moment' that Isobel said made her 'younger self proud'.
Isobel, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said: "I remember I said something to a boy that I really liked when I was 11.
"It was probably like 'I fancy you' or something and he shouted across the classroom 'shut up whale'.
"It crushed my life. I was so devastated that a boy didn't like me back and it was because of how I looked, which was something I couldn't really control at that age. It made my insecurities worse.
"It's funny because they're the people in my Instagram DMs now – he has since messaged me saying 'hey, haven't seen you in so long' and I just never replied.
"Someone had made me feel so bad all those years ago and I was able to rise above him and he was the one crawling back.
"It felt so powerful being able to do that after all these years. It felt a bit petty that I ignored it but I don't really care because it was so good to do that for my younger self.
"For years later for it to be the other way around and for him to want me when I'm not interested just felt like a proper full-circle moment.
"It's funny that now he wants me, I feel like my younger self would be dead proud."
After the hurtful fat-shaming comment, Isobel said she put more effort into her appearance at school – even wearing make-up.
Isobel said: "My classmates laughed because he was the class clown and I think everybody thought it was funny – I was probably laughing too but obviously on the inside I wasn't.
"I look back at pictures from when I was really young and getting my belly out for example, I was laughing, having fun and didn't care.
"But when I got that little bit older, that's the only thing I thought about.
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"I wasn't happy with myself and my weight really brought me down – I wasn't really in a very good place because of it.
"I remember going into assemblies in year five and six and breathing in so that people wouldn't think I was as fat, even though I wasn't at the time.
"I look back and think 'oh my goodness, I was so young and was always concerned about my weight, which is absolutely ridiculous'."
After spending years unhappy with her figure, Isobel decided to take action and began intermittent fasting.
Thrilled Isobel said she started seeing results almost immediately and by April 2020 was fitting into a size 10 and by late August and early September reached a size 8 and was finally happy with her body.
Isobel said: "I would definitely say social media had a lot to do with the way I felt. I wasn't even considered overweight or anything but that's how they made me feel.
"I've always been concerned about my weight. I look back at pictures now and realise I wasn't even as big as I thought. It was just in my head, which was one of the worst bits to see.
"I'd think I would be really fat and then eat and cope with that and look back and realise that I wasn't actually fat.
"Then I'd get myself more and more down about it, it was just kind of this cycle that I was in.
"Before lockdown started I was really down and upset about my weight, I'd cry about it for days on end.
"One day I went 'right, I'm going to do something about this' and I've consistently kept up with it ever since.
"It just clicked and the motivation came. I just got so low about my weight that I just one day got up and did it and didn't look back."
Isobel said she returned to school after lockdown 'feeling so good' about herself and had also bought a brand new wardrobe with on-trend clothes she'd always wanted to wear.
The TikToker said she's since received 'nice and supportive' comments both from her classmates and online too where she's amassed more than 147,4700 followers.
Isobel said: "Losing weight has been life-changing – it's had a knock-on effect on everything and it's the confidence that's come from that.
"All my friends have said that I've just come out of my shell, I've got so much more confidence that I didn't know I had.
"I have the confidence to wear anything now – I go out in the funkiest outfits. I wear the craziest of things and the shortest of things – I properly consider myself a fashionista.
"I'd never worn a bikini in my life until about a few months ago.
"I was just so proud of myself as I'd always said I'd wanted to lose weight so when I finally did it, I thought I'd do a little before and after just to show myself how far I'd actually come.
"It's improved my life so much in ways I didn't even think possible. It's made me feel so much better, healthier and happier."
Isobel’s diet changes
TYPICAL BREAKFAST BEFORE:
Nutella on toast, sugary cereal or a full English breakfast washed down with lots of orange juice
TYPICAL LUNCH BEFORE:
Chicken burger or cheesy chips with beans and nuggets.
Dessert such as chocolate cookies, muffins or cupcakes.
TYPICAL DINNER BEFORE:
She'd eat 'healthy' meals such as pie or chicken and vegetable stir fry but would eat lots of snacks and sugary treats including ice-cream, sweets and three chocolate bars in the evening.
TYPICAL BREAKFAST NOW:
Acai bowls with acai liquid and banana with granola and fruit on top.
TYPICAL LUNCH NOW:
Sushi or chicken salad sandwiches
TYPICAL DINNER NOW:
Isobel enjoys the same dinners as before but in moderation with extra vegetables and limits her desserts.
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