Page last updated at 03:24 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 04:24 UK

Bullied teenager is star slimmer

Jack Mitchell
Jack said at one time he felt "worthless"

A Wearside teenager who was bullied at school because he was fat, has been named Slimming World's Young Slimmer of the Year.

Jack Mitchell, 18, from Sunderland, lost 7st 7lbs (47.5kg) over two years.

He was taunted at school about his size after his weight peaked at 20st (127kg) when he was 16.

He started slimming classes in July 2006 and switched to a healthy diet. He now hopes to become a cast member at Walt Disney World Florida.

He said: "I was taunted about my weight by pupils and a teacher. As the bullying got worse I hid away at home, I was afraid to go out anywhere.

"By the age of 16 I felt totally worthless and had no self-esteem or confidence. I'd only go out to visit family friends in their own homes.

"The last straw was when I reached over 20 stone; I went to my favourite store to buy clothes and couldn't find anything to fit.

"I knew I had to do something to change my life."

James, who now weighs 12st 7lbs (79.5kg) began attending Slimming World meetings in July 2006.

He added:"When I was overweight I was very lethargic, I had no energy and my mental health suffered.

"Now that I've lost weight I exercise regularly - I feel so happy and so healthy."


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