A chronic binge eater who cruelly faced years of horrific taunts from bullies telling her to ‘kill herself’ has beaten her binge eating disorder and shed more than 8st.
Ola Ingielewicz, 25, from Wandsworth, London, would gorge on food until she made herself sick and started comfort eating crisps, chocolates and fizzy drinks as a young child.
Ola piled on four stone during one summer school holiday and weighed 15st at age 11, before reaching a size 20 and her heaviest weight of 18st 6lbs when she was 16.
But at age 19, Ola decided to sign up with a personal trainer and learned how to make healthier versions of her favourite foods, dropping 8st 6lbs and reaching a size eight, and she is now raising awareness about binge eating disorder.
During her school years, Ola faced extreme bullying from classmates and strangers in the street who cruelly called her ‘ugly’, ‘fatty’ and told her she should ‘die’.
Ola admitted that even some of her own family members would ridicule her weight and told her that her size would mean ‘nobody would ever love her’.
Ola (pictured after weight loss) decided to beat her binge eating disorder and, with the help of a personal trainer, dropped 8st 6lbs and five dress sizes to a size eight and 10st
Ola Ingielewicz (pictured at age 16), 25, from Wandsworth, London, who cruelly faced years of horrific taunts from bullies telling her to ‘kill herself’ has beaten her binge eating disorder
She explained: ‘I was chunky from age 8 and obese by age 11. My parents worked a lot to make sure my brother and I had everything we needed which meant we were at home alone a lot.
‘I found myself watching TV all day and just eating. If I ever felt stressed, I would walk to the shop to buy more and more food. I found it comforting and it made me feel good.
‘People started bullying me for my weight. I could be walking in the street and boys would shout at me ‘you’re a fatty, you’re taking up too much space, you should just die’.
‘Even some family members didn’t encourage me to lose weight for my health. They told me I should lose weight because I was ugly and fat and nobody would ever love me.
‘It made me so upset and embarrassed even though it shouldn’t. They should have been ashamed, not me.’
During her school years, Ola would gorge on food until she made herself sick and started comfort eating crisps, chocolates and fizzy drinks as a child (pictured after weight loss)
Ola piled on four stone during one summer school holiday and weighed 15st at age 11, before reaching a size 20 (left) and her heaviest weight of 18st 6lbs when she was 16
The shame and upset caused by years of cruel taunts only worsened Ola’s relationship with food and her binges spiralled out of control.
Ola said she ‘never opened up’ about the bullying because she claimed her ‘teachers’ made her feel like it was her ‘fault’ and if she didn’t want the bullying she should ‘lose weight’.
She continued: ‘It’s not that easy. It’s not as simple as telling a fat person to lose weight.
What is a binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder involves regularly eating a lot of food over a short period of time until you’re uncomfortably full.
Binges are often planned in advance, usually done alone, and may include ‘special’ binge foods. You may feel guilty or ashamed after binge eating.
Men and women of any age can get binge eating disorder but it usually starts in the late teens or early 20s.
‘People are so quick to judge and shame others for their weight without even knowing what’s causing them to over eat.
But at age 19, Ola wanted a fresh start and signed up with a personal trainer in the hope of shedding some pounds before heading to university in London six months later.
Ola, who works in digital marketing, developed a love for exercise and started eating her favourite foods prepared in healthier ways and is now happier and more comfortable in her own skin.
She dropped 8st 6lbs and five dress sizes to a size eight and 10st, and she hopes her weight loss will inspire others and help raise awareness of binge eating as a disorder – not something people should be mocked for.
She continued: ‘Binge eating is a disorder and so many people like me are trying to eat their emotions.
‘By 12 I was depressed and through secondary school my anxiety and depression got worse and it deepened my need for food for comfort.
‘If anything bad happened I would just eat more.
‘If anyone bullied me at school I would go to the shop on the way home and buy four big packets of crisps, chocolates and soft drinks.
‘I would eat it all and get so full to the point I would feel sick.
‘Sometimes I got so full I had to just go to sleep, other times I would throw up but I wasn’t purging on purpose I was just that full.’
Ola received cruel taunts from bullies about her weight and admitted even some of her family would ridicule her weight and told her that being fat meant ‘nobody would ever love her’
But at age 19, Ola wanted a fresh start and signed up with a personal trainer in the hope of shedding some pounds before heading to university in London six months later
Ola admitted that being told she was ‘unlovable’ because of her size had a damaging impact on her self-esteem and love life, as she said she found herself seeking from the wrong people or pushing away the right people.
Ola said: ‘The way I was treated as an obese child really affected my relationships as a teenager and as an adult.
‘As a teenager I started seeking love from anyone I could get it from and boys that I shouldn’t. They all tried to pressure me to lose weight.
Ola’s diet before and after her weight loss
Breakfast: White roll with butter, mayonnaise, sausages and ketchup.
Snack: Big bag of crisps and chocolate.
Lunch: Large deep pan pizza with garlic sauce.
Dinner: Fried potatoes and fried meat.
Snack: Crisps, chocolate and a sandwich.
Breakfast: Coconut yoghurt with granola and strawberries.
Snack: A protein Snickers or Mars bar.
Lunch: A bagel with turkey and lots of salad.
Snack: Another yoghurt and a piece of fruit.
Dinner: Grilled steak or salmon with oven chips and vegetables
‘As I got older, I assumed that the only job for me in a relationship was to be skinny and beautiful.
‘I couldn’t trust anyone because I had no confidence. If anyone told me they liked me, I didn’t believe them. I thought they just wanted something from me.
‘Any relationships I have had have ended because I didn’t love myself and so couldn’t believe that anyone else would.’
After a bad break up, Ola decided to beat her eating disorder and, rather than using a restrictive diet, she simply made sure she had three meals and two snacks a day made up of 50 per cent fruit or veg, 25 per cent protein and 25 per cent carbs.
Ola carried on eating all the foods that she had always enjoyed but started preparing them from scratch and swapping frying for grilling, and oil for cooking spray.
She still enjoyed sweets, ice cream, chocolate and crisps in moderation as a treat, as well as exercising with her PT three times a week, and began walking and swimming.
But Ola’s biggest turning point was when she realised that she would only achieve her physical goals when she started looking after her mental wellbeing.
Ola explained: ‘When I decided to move from London, I think I was running away from everything and everyone who had hurt me and bullied me. I wanted a fresh start, a new healthy life.
‘I was so lucky to meet my PT. She taught me how to have a completely new relationship with food.
‘And she was one of the first people to really believe in me. Nobody else did.
‘No one believed that I would go to university, no one believed I would manage to stay in London on my own and no one believed that I would lose weight.
‘Changing my environment from one where people were telling me “you can’t do it” to :you can achieve whatever you set your mind to” was the best decision of my life.
‘I have learnt that mental and physical health are so connected and understanding that has helped me find inner peace and helped me enjoy exercise and healthy eating even more.
But Ola (pictured after weight loss) said biggest turning point was when she realised that she would only achieve her physical goals when she started looking after her mental wellbeing
Now, Ola is even exploring a career change to become a nutrition coach as she is determined to use her positivity to help others
‘I am learning to love myself but it has been the biggest journey of my life and it’s still ongoing.’
Now, Ola is even exploring a career change to become a nutrition coach as she is determined to use her positivity to help others.
Ola continued: ‘My weight loss has helped me feel more comfortable and confident in my own skin than I ever have done before.
‘But it isn’t just about getting slimmer, it’s about getting healthier in mind and body.
‘I want to inspire and help other people to do the same. I want to become a nutrition coach to help people with their eating and exercise and also be there as emotional support.
‘Taking care of your mind and body is the best investment you can ever make in life. And it’s the only investment you can make that is just for you and nobody else.’