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Tiffany is no longer the 'fat friend'
SHE was the fat friend who would be taken along on dates so her girlfriends would look better.
While her friends would pick chic outfits to meet boyfriends in bars, Tiffany Vella would wear baggy clothes and always be the one behind the camera taking the photos.
But she was used to it. For years Tiffany had battled with her weight and endured cruel jibes from bullies.
On one occasion she couldn’t hold back her tears when a group of boys began making pig noises at her and calling her ‘fatty’ when she walked back from the bus stop after school.
She weighed 14 stone 2.5lbs for her 5ft 2ins frame, wore a size 18 and would turn to food for comfort.
But now Tiffany has beaten the bullies and turned her life around.
Despite being just 21, she now has a career as a healthy eating consultant helping nearly 100 people to lose weight each week – and is particularly determined to help young people who suffer at the hands of bullies like she did.
Tiffany, who used to eat pies, burgers, chips, chocolate and crisps, said: “Since I can remember, I was always being teased and bullied about my weight, but I didn’t know what to do because food was my comfort, so I’d just carry on eating.
“I was just the fat friend who my friends would take when they met guys so they would look better. I decided I had enough of being that person.”
Tiffany, a former St Anne’s Catholic School and Barton Peveril pupil, joined Slimming World in Chandler’s Ford after being horrified when she saw a photograph of her taken at her birthday party in December last year.
When she returned to work in January her trousers were so tight the seams split and a colleague jeered that she was only happy when she was eating.
“I was desperately miserable and I just had to do something about it. Enough was enough," she said.
In her first week at the group she lost four pounds and in just six months lost more than three stone.
She swapped her calorie-laden diet with healthy home-made food and has even taken up new hobbies including aqua Zumba.
Tiffany, said: “I feel so much better now and I’ve got so much more energy.
“I’ve got the confidence to hold my head up high and be proud of myself. I just hope I’ll be able to help others achieve their dreams.
“I want other young people to know that you can achieve anything.
Don’t let bullies get you down and don’t let people make you feel worthless.”
- Tiffany runs a Slimming World group at the Atherley Bowling Club on Hill Lane, Southampton on Thursdays at 5.30pm and 7.30pm.
- The group is offering free membership for students aged 16 to 21 with a valid NUS card until November 2.
- For more information call her on 07738 162450.
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