When starting on The Cambridge Diet Fiona Hodge lost slightly more than she’d bargained for.
After shedding five and a half stone in less than one year, and dropping from a size 18 to an 8, the mum of two found herself losing friends who were “jealous” of her weight loss success.
Instead of supporting her achievement and encouraging her, Fiona’s claims that she was subject to bullying and abuse from “jealous” friends and family.
She says her friends alleged she was obsessed with weight loss, looking old and gaunt, and failing to care for her family.
Now she’s has been forced online to find friends.
Having been overweight since her late teens, the mum of two was terrified to leave her house and suffered from kidney stones due to her weight.
She lived off takeaways and junk food and crippled by embarrassment that left her practically housebound.
After the birth of her second child last year she decided to do something about the weight problem that was holding her back.
She started a radical diet with the Cambridge Weightloss programme and, with the support of husband Andy, quickly saw the pounds melt away.
It was not long before Fiona’s weight finally began to match up with her tiny 5 foot 4 frame and she headed out to by new clothes.
At first her friends couldn’t believe her success and congratulated her. But as the flab continued to fly, Fiona says that the nastiness started.
They accused her of having an eating disorder, told her she looked better before and taunted her with sweets and crisps to try and break her, she claims.
She rarely sees the people she once called her best friends and feels isolated by people who are “jealous” of her weight loss.
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But Fiona has refused to give in and is sticking to her new lifestyle and maintaining her new figure.
“It’s hard because I’ve lost the weight but I’ve also lost so many friends,” says Fiona.
“Even at the beginning a lot of my friends said I would never stick at it but I thought as soon as they saw how much healthier and happier I was, they’d be rushing to congratulate me.
“Instead they’ve turned on me and treated my like some kind of freak for wanting to do the best for my health and my family.”
She adds: “My best friend can’t really be described as that any more. She’s too horrible and jealous. She’s always asking me what I’m eating like she needs to check up on me. I think she just needs a fat friend to make her look thinner and so she feels better about herself.”
Losing weight has done wonders for Fiona’s confidence: “I never used to go outside, I dressed head to toe in black in as many layers as I could get away with – wouldn’t even take my children to the park. I was so worried and embarrassed.”
Now, she says, her eating habits have become much healthier.
“I’d spend my whole day thinking about sweet snacks and wouldn’t think twice about spending £50 a night on takeaway and junk food,” she says. “Now I don’t think anything of taking my kids out to play. Most evenings we cook a great healthy dinner and go for a walk together.”
She adds: “Not only is my health is so much better for it, I’m more self-confident – I’ve found my voice. I don’t know how people can be so cruel – I’m not forcing it under people’s noses.
“I’m just trying to live my new healthy life for me and my family.”