Irishman Paul (26) shifts more than seven stone after ‘fat-shaming’ festival photo goes viral
Published 05/01/2016 | 12:09
An Irish music-lover was inspired to shift more than seven stone after an unflattering photograph snapped at an Australian festival went viral online, opening him up to cruel comments from internet trolls.
Paul Moore (26) was heartbroken when a photograph of himself shirtless upon a friend’s shoulders appeared in a magazine and was shared more than 30,000 times while he lived in Australia.
“I was told it was funny and that there were only a few comments but within a few hours it was shared more than 30,000 times,” Paul told the Anton Savage Show on Today FM.
“The comments were like ‘Oh that boy, his parents should be shocked and embarrassed for having a child that fat’, ‘He should kill himself’, ‘Why is that whale out here at this concert?’ It went on for ages.”
Paul, who once weighed more than 20 stone, revealed that he was affected by the comments from strangers which lead him into deep depression and onto a path of destructive behaviour.
“It’s very hard when all these people you don’t know are talking about you,” he said.
“I was drinking heavily after it all. I was so depressed from it.
“Every time I was drunk I was doing stupid things and self harming. I couldn’t get over it. It was ruining my life. It turned from the best day of my life to the worst. Everyone was really worried about me.”
After breaking his leg in Australia, Paul returned home to Cork and began to work in a local hotel. The waiter revealed that a chance encounter with a member of Slimming World encouraged him to tackle his weight once and for all.
“I came home from Australia and got a job in a hotel in Cork. I was bringing bags inside for this woman one day and she asked me if I was there for Slimming World.
“After that I said I would join it and from that day the weight just fell off me. I feel like a different person,” he said.
Paul has recently returned to Australia and is embarking on three months of travelling in Oz this January. He revealed that his recent weight loss will allow him to sky-dive, which he was unable to do in the past.
“I’ve always wanted to do a sky dive and I was told I was too heavy to do it. That’s my aim now for the next few weeks I’m going to experience that.
“I’ve lost nearly 7 and a half stone now and I’m delighted.”