A teen who was driven to anorexia after being bullied at school has revealed her new body after turning her life around to become a fitness instructor.
Gabrielle Paice became ‘obsessed’ with her weight after being teased through her childhood and dropped to 42 kilos after low self-esteem took its toll.
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“I used to get picked on a lot for my long nose. It would make me cry a lot. I never wanted to go to school. I had such low confidence,” she says.
“I wasn’t bullied because I was fat but it drove me to lose the weight. I thought being skinny would make me seem more attractive to everyone.”
Gabrielle began dramatically losing weight in 2014 and after suffering from hair loss, bad skin and being prone to pain and bruising, she visited a doctor who told her she was underweight with low blood pressure.
“Everyone kept telling me I looked ill and that I wasn’t acting like myself anymore but I wouldn’t listen to them,” she says.
“I really wanted to be thin but every time I looked at myself I thought I was fat. I would weigh myself every day and look in the mirror all the time. I would class it as anorexia.”
Gabriella, 19, put herself on a restricted diet of just 2510 kilojoules and ran on a treadmill every day despite her frail frame.
“I became completely drained and had no energy,” she says. “This is when I knew I needed to make a change.”
In February 2016 Gabrielle joined a gym and swapped cardio exercise for weight lifting and began eating a healthier diet and now weighs a healthy 58 kilograms.
“I have had a complete transformation and I actually have a social life now. I eat what I want but in moderation. I don’t deprive myself anymore,” Gabrielle explains.
“I think it’s an ongoing process and sometimes I will still be cautious about eating some things but I’m a lot better now.
“After my transformation I decided I wanted to help others and this inspired me to become a personal trainer.
“I’m much more positive now. Being a personal trainer encouraged me to make a lot of friends. I feel a lot more confident in myself now.
“When I see someone struggling with their weight and I can tell that their going in the direction I went in I try to talk to them about it.
“However, when you’re in that frame of mind it’s really hard to listen to what people are saying. I just want people to love themselves.”
'''If you or anyone you know needs help, contact https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au
- Additional reporting by Caters
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