It’s a common daydream for many of us – fantasising about bumping into someone who was far from kind to you at school, perhaps even a bully, only for you to gracefully dismiss them while at the same time displaying how awesome your life is now.
Well, dreams sometimes come true, as 23-year-old Elizabeth Jobson can attest to.
Elizabeth was mercilessly bullied throughout her childhood, describing her time at high school as ‘absolutely awful’.
As a child, Elizabeth would turn to food to make herself feel better, secretly stashing bags of crisps in her bedroom before her weight rocketed to 20.5 stone (287lbs/130kg).
The young teacher decided it was finally time to do something about her weight when, at size 26, she dreaded going on holiday and having to get into a bikini.
It should come as no surprise, the secret to her drastic weight loss – nine stone in a year – was regular exercise and healthy eating. After all the fad diets and quick-fix schemes, it really is the only long-lasting method.
Thanks to regular sessions in the gym and rigorous meal planning, Elizabeth dropped eight dress sizes and was proud to show off her svelte figure on holiday in a bikini for the first time in years.
And as for the school bullies who teased her about her size? Elizabeth routinely has to curb their advances on nights out.
Elizabeth, from Durham, said:
It’s a massive difference. I am delighted.
The funny thing is that since I lost the weight loads of the lads in secondary school that used to call me names and take the mick, they’re always the ones on the night out trying to chat me up and stuff.
I tell them where to go straight away.
A lot of my friends I had in secondary school I’m not friends with now because since I lost the weight they just drifted away.
I think they must have liked me for being the fat friend that was just there. I was the token fat friend in the group.
Though proud of her achievement, Elizabeth is still getting used to her transformation.
It’s hard because it took me a year to lose all the weight and I saw myself in the mirror every day, so even now looking at myself I still feel as though I’m quite big compared to everyone.
But then when I look at a before and after picture it just shows how different I am.
It takes other people to compliment me and say I look good because I don’t think there’s a massive change.
I’m still the same person – I still have the same personality and like the same things. It’s just my body has completely changed.
As for any advice Elizabeth could give to others hoping to undergo a similar transformation, she says:
You’ve got to be in the right mind-set to do it.
Because I was doing it with my mam and I had her helping me to plan meals and encourage me, it really helps to have someone there because she came to the gym with me for the first time.
She’s my best friend. I absolutely love her. I couldn’t have done it without her at all.
Good on you, Elizabeth!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.