A Cork man who was trolled and abused online because of his weight is now being inundated by people wanting to know how he turned his life around and lost eight stone.
A photograph of Paul Moore, 26, taken at a music festival in Australia 2013, went viral after being posted on line and he became the subject of vicious ridicule.
He said that it resulted in him self-harming and turning to alcohol.
“I was hurting so much on the inside that I started to self-harm. It became something I would do every day.”
The picture was taken at the Future Music Festival in Melbourne and while you can only see Paul from the back, he was readily identifiable to friends.
At that point he weighed close to 20 stone and the online abuse was vitriolic.
“At first I found it quite funny because I was confident no matter what size I was. But by the second, it was getting thousands of more likes and comments, some were really bad and I could not shake them off.
“I tried to forget about it but it just wouldn’t go away. I began drinking more or less seven nights a week as well as drinking three bottles of wine a day.”
At the same time he began to cut himself. “I was hurting so much on the inside I started to self harm. It became something I would do every day.”
Paul, who is from Togher in Cork, saw his weight spiral to 20 stone and 5 lbs.
Then in January last year he fell and broke his ankle. It needed to be operated on and he had no choice but to go home to Ireland. He began working at a hotel in Cork where there was a Slimming World group and he decided to join.
He stopped drinking and by making other healthy lifestyle choices he lost seven stone and returned to Australia, this time to Sydney.
Paul now weights 11 stone and 7lb, is studying business and marketing and goes to the gym five days a week.
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