By Liana Jacob
MEET the strong-willed woman who is thanking her bullies for their actions which led to her dropping almost eight-stone in two years and has since been modelling and appeared on TV.
University student, Angelina Denk (23), from Eitorf, Germany, has always been an open-minded person despite being bullied between the age of 12 and 18.
Her unhappy school years contributed to her yo-yo dieting that led her to first restrict her diet almost to the point of not eating, leading to a very skinny physique, which didn’t make her feel good.
She then began to put on the weight to reach her heaviest and by 2015 she reached 18st 13Ibs which again made her feel low.
Following a comment from one of her relatives about her ‘big thighs’, Angelina decided to restructure her diet and exercise routine, helping her shrink to a bodacious 11st body.
“During school time, let’s say from age 12 until 18 people used to bully me, saying bad things and all that stuff,” Angelina said.
“But I’m forgiving and I’m thankful to them, because they shaped me.
“I was always the tallest and biggest size girl compared to girls the same age as me.
“There is one time I remember the most. One boy in my school stabbed a pencil in my belly very hard and told me ‘it can’t hurt because I’m fat’.
“There was a time when I hated to go to school because I knew people were talking about me behind my back.
“Now some are supporting, some are hating, some are fulfilled with envy, some are asking for help, some want to be my friends now, some are saying goodbye.
“I started losing weight in Summer 2015. I was on vacation with my parents, siblings and my grandma and she kept on telling me how big my thighs are and I started thinking about which kind of sports I could start to lose some weight and where.
“I lost about six-stone four pounds some years ago, but it was only about counting calories, ending up into not eating anything.
“I was not thin like now, but I slipped into an eating disorder due to not eating anything.
“I was so much into it; food was my worst enemy. I was not feeling well and not at all happy.
“So, after I started eating again, I gained everything back and I reached my heaviest weight by losing weight in an unhealthy way.
“I was inspired by my own body as I started working out; seeing results week by week. I was overwhelmed by how my body was transforming and what my body is capable of.
Since this time Angelina has appeared on a German television show called Curvy Supermodels; like Germany’s Next Top Model but just for curvy/plus size models.
“I was in the Top 30 from over thousands of candidates,” she said.
“It was a great experience and I want to be the best version of myself and want to inspire and motivate people.
“I have received big compliments from the judges such as Carlo Castro and Peyman Amin, who have said that they could see me on the covers of magazines like Sports Illustrated or Vogue.”
Angelina credits her workout using CrossFit; a high-intensity fitness programme incorporating elements from various sports and types of exercise.
She has also changed her diet routine that enables her to organise spread out periods of time for her meals.
“CrossFit is shaping my body so much and it will keep on transforming it. You also get better physical feeling and appreciate it in a different way,” she said.
“I just have my timings, I have two meals a day; one at around four to five o’clock in the afternoon and the second one at around nine to ten in the evening.
“My first weight loss was because of today’s society. I wanted to look like those models on the TV and I thought that I can reach that size only by not eating anything.
“I feel much better now because I know the difference between my feelings now; I was never thinking I’m not beautiful or worth less than someone thinner.
“Nowadays, the fashion industry is changing and you see more plus size models on the runways and in magazines, but not yet ‘inbetweenie-models’ like a healthy size eight to 10 (European size 36 to 38).
“I would love to take part in that change; showing real human bodies and personalities living a healthy and happy life and not photoshopping everything.
“I know I will never be a size zero model or a plus size model; I am who I am and that’s just perfect.”
Despite most of her high school journey trying to please society’s measurements by losing weight, Angelina says she has now developed a healthy mindset that allows her to achieve the results for herself.
“Do it for yourself and never give up. If you work on yourself; you can become whatever you want and of’ course you can make your dreams come true,” she said.
“Bear with yourself; that’s also the hardest thing for me, but everybody is different and you will transform in your own way.
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/angelinadenk/