Mum to run in 5k after being ‘body shamed’

Liza Leeson with her son Oliver Robinson and some of her karate trophies from 2003
Liza Leeson with her son Oliver Robinson and some of her karate trophies from 2003

A Harrogate mum who was ‘body shamed’ whilst exercising at the gym has hit back by signing up to compete in a 5k charity race.

Liza Leeson, 27, said she was exercising at a Harrogate gym when two girls behind her began mocking her about her weight.

Rather than take offence to their comments, Liza said she was inspired to prove the girls wrong by signing up to compete in the Pretty Muddy 5k at Ripley Castle on July 9.

Despite shrugging off their insults, Liza said comments like these could be ‘dangerous’ as they may result in self-confidence issues.

She said: “I haven’t been to the gym for a while and the girls were making comments about my wobbly bits. I am well aware I have wobbly bits because I have two children.

“It’s sad because other people may actually take offence to it and decide not to go back but this is exactly why I go to the gym. I want to prove I can do the run and let the girls know the damage they could have done.”

Liza said she knows too well the effect bullying could have on someone’s confidence. She said she was mocked at high school because of her appearance after losing her right eye when she was nine years old.

After a year of staying silent, Liza was able to build her confidence back up by taking up karate and even winning a national competition in 2003.

She said: “Every little thing you do and every little victory boosts your confidence. People shouldn’t be put off by horrible comments. If I had done, then I wouldn’t have left the house for the last 20 years.”