Teenager beats bullies and sheds weight

A TEENAGER cruelly bullied at school over her weight has defied her tormenters to shed almost three stone.

Dave Gooderham

A TEENAGER cruelly bullied at school over her weight has defied her tormenters to shed almost three stone.

Victoria Patoka's self-esteem and confidence hit rock bottom when she was picked on by fellow pupils.

But the 17-year-old has bravely battled back and paid tribute to her local slimming group - crediting it with changing her life “forever”.


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After losing 2 stone 12lbs, she said: “I was always being picked on and called names at school because of my weight, and now those same people can't say anything.

“The reaction I have received has been amazing - there have been people I haven't seen for a while who have had to do a double take before they realised it was me. I am delighted with how it has gone and it has transformed me into a more confident person.”

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Miss Patoka, a hairdresser from Sudbury, said she hoped other teenagers would benefit from her experience: “I'm now enjoying the life a 17-year-old should. My friend was going to the classes and said it was really good so I thought I would give it a try. I didn't realise how well supported I would be and I think having people to talk to really helped. It worked straight away - as soon as I started I lost 4lbs in a week.”

Miss Patoka, who took street dance classes at Sudbury Upper School and has now started choreographing her own routines, said she had become fed up with starving herself on a number of “faddy diets” before joining Slimming World.

She said: “I was very nervous about joining the group, not knowing what to expect. I was frightened about the prospect of facing up to my actual weight and embarrassed that I'd be spotted by someone from school, which would've given them even more reason to pick on me.

“My fears were totally unwarranted as my consultant explained that complete confidentiality and that absolutely no humiliation was key and that my weight would never be disclosed to the group - only my weight change. Group members were extremely encouraging and I loved all the new recipe ideas I picked up.

“I never feel hungry or deprived of food, I still can't believe how much I can actually eat. It's wonderful and having now reached my target weight I'm convinced that maintaining my weight will be no problem. It has changed my life forever.”

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