Written by Kate Thompson
WHEN David West of Portsmouth was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on a luxury holiday and be filmed for a new TV reality show about plus size bodies, he had no idea how positive the experience would turn out to be.
“April this year, after a bad day at work, I noticed an advert in the local paper asking for plus size men and woman to go on a luxury holiday. Without thinking – I applied straight away and within two weeks, after some scary casting interviews, I was flying out to a tropical island in the Bahamas called Eleuthera. Excited but nervous I had absolutely no idea what was about to come,” said David.
After being kept separate from the seven other contestants by show producers for 24 hours, David finally arrived at his destination – the world’s first and only Plus-Size Resort.
“I was totally overwhelmed but decided quickly to just embrace it and enjoy every moment as I will never get this opportunity again.”
Over the next 10 days, David spent every moment with his fellow ‘guests’ getting to know each other and tackling daily challenges such Yoga, Canoeing and even a Fashion Show.
“These things would seem perfectly normal to attempt while on holiday for most people but throw in some confidence issues and weight concerns and it takes on a whole new life,” he confided.
Out of all the contestants David was the lightest in weight at just over 18 stone and the heaviest was around 36 stone. Mentor Mel helped guide the group to start accepting their bodies and become more body confident.
“Now the show has completed filming I have fully embraced my body and all of its imperfections. I truly believe that you can learn to love your body and that everyone is beautiful, we just come in different sizes.
“I cannot wait for people to see this show. It may be controversial – and people may not agree with the shows glorified acceptance of the plussize community – however for me it changed my life and I will always be thankful and proud of what I have achieved.”
18-30 Stone Holiday is available to view on ITV Hub until 21st November.