Shaughna Phillips has opened up about undergoing surgery on her legs after feeling like the ‘box-ticking fat girl’ while appearing on Love Island.
The former council worker, 26, had suffered years of bullying about her legs, but discovered she had lipoedema – an abnormal accumulation of fat in the legs – after appearing on the show.
Shaughna, who also starred in The Real Full Monty On Ice this week, underwent an operation to drain two litres of fat from her calves.
Calling her legs her ‘biggest body hang-up’ for as long as she can remember, Shaughna told The Sun: ‘I’d be going to the gym six times a week, and even though I got down to 9st 6lb and a size six on the top half, my legs would stay at a size 14.
‘I was killing myself doing these workouts. When I went on Love Island, I spent lots of time crying to the therapist.
‘I was surrounded by these lovely looking girls, and I felt like the show’s box-ticking fat girl.’
She revealed that she would constantly get pain and bruises but only discovered she had lipoedema after receiving messages from viewers asking if she had been diagnosed with it.
On the show, she says she was the ‘most insecure’ she had ever been, adding that water retention from the long flight as well as the heat in South Africa made the swelling in her legs and feet so bad she couldn’t get her shoes on sometimes.
Shaughna has spoken out about her surgery, adding: ‘Yes, I have had liposuction on my lower legs.
‘It’s something that I have been suffering with physically and mentally my whole life and it has now been sorted.
‘So I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say I have had that done. It was to help with a condition I have, and hopefully it will help others too.’
Lipoedema is a progressive condition which gets worse over time, and can not be cured by diet or exercise.