Lorna: The boys at school used to laugh at me about my weight because I was size 14 and looked a lot bigger than most of the other girls. When I went out with my mates, they were always going on about how fat they were, but I would have swapped my body for theirs any day if I could have. I used to worry about my size all the time and I wore loose, baggy things to try to hide my shape. I envied my mates so much – they’d be eating hamburgers and chips, while I’d nibble on half a burger. I only had to look at chocolate and I’d put on a pound. I tried so hard to lose weight, I used to go swimming about four times a week in a desperate effort to get down to a smaller size.
But you know, I wasn’t short of boyfriends. There’s this idea that guys don’t fancy fat girls, but I’ve never had any problems. I’ve always tried to compensate for my size by being open and funny. I don’t think boys like skinny girls. Since I left school, I’ve put on more weight. I’ve also started working as a large-size model and I’m getting loads of work, and now I’m happy with my size – 16. I feel I’ve finally come to terms with my size, so I don’t bother about it any more. I thought: this is the way I am. I’ve probably never been healthier; what’s the problem? I’m happy.
As a large-size model I couldn’t lose weight now even if I wanted to because I wouldn’t get any work, but I’ve never been happier. I wish more girls of my size would feel happier about themselves, rather than going on diets and hiding themselves in baggy clothes.
Chris: I used to be a skinny child and if you are small, you get picked on at school. My first visit to a gym got me hooked. Almost immediately 1 started to see my body changing, as muscles I never knew I had seemed to pop up everywhere. I seemed to train harder than anybody I knew and I read everything I could find about new training methods and tried just about every diet and natural supplement known toa man. I wanted the type of the body you see on the cover of Men’s Health magazine. If I hadn’t put so much effort in training, my dream wouldn’t have come true. After five years of natural training I reached a maximum weight of 15 stone, just short of doubling my weight. When I got a knee injury and my doctor told me that I needed surgery and should rest for three months, I was back in the gym within three weeks.
At the moment I have four strength-training and four aerobic sessions a week. It requires a lot of discipline and sacrifice, but it’s about your focus in life and what’s important for you. I also believe that diet is crucial. It accounts for 70% of my success. I normally avoid processed food, bread, pasta, crisps and crackers and eat mostly vegetables, lean chicken and fish.
I went from being a nervous, skinny kid to a guy who is confident and respected. So am I addicted to training? When I see how it changed my life, yes. But it isn’t an illness; it’s an addiction that has definitely been a healthy one for me.