UWE fresher lands modelling contract after posting weight-loss transformation on Youtube

Eat clean train dirty

A tubby teenager has transformed herself into a super-fit model and fitness trainer – after documenting her weight loss on YouTube.

Dedicated Elle Darby, 19, described herself as a “waddling sausage” and would spend hours photoshopping pictures of herself because she hated her body.



The UWE fresher decided to turn her life around and embarked on an incredible fitness journey which she shared with the world on her YouTube channel.

Elle chronicled her gruelling gym sessions, dietary tips and make-up advice as she transformed herself into an Ellie Goulding lookalike.

And her story has turned into a new career as she started qualifying as a personal trainer and was signed up by a modelling agency.

Elle, from Trowbridge, said: “I made a decision to become the best version of myself I could be – mentally and physically.

“That’s what I did, and now, every day I have a new goal to beat the person I was yesterday.”


Elle was not overweight as a youngster but her childhood was thrown into chaos when her father was extradited to the US and jailed in 2006.

Giles Darby was one of the “NatWest Three” who were jailed for 37 months for a £3.5million fraud against the bank.


Elle said: “It was very stressful on me and my mum and my diet went out of the window. I was eating loads of junk which continued throughout my early teens.

“Since I started secondary school around the age of 13 I had constantly felt like the bigger one out of my friends, my sisters, in fact – anybody I met.

“To be a child and to feel so self-conscious is awful. I was so ashamed and embarrassed about people seeing my body.

“Aged 13 to 17, any pictures of me that friends put on Facebook I would un-tag, or I would hassle people really aggressively to get them to take them down.

“Any photos that I took of myself I would Photoshop to make myself look slimmer.

“There was so much pressure to look nice. I felt like I just looked like a waddling sausage.”


When Elle moved out of her family home into halls at UWE last September she decided to take control of her diet and nutrition.

She was too embarrassed to look at the scales but estimates her weight was around 10-and-a-half stone and she was squeezing into a size 14 dress.


Elle now, with her boyfriend

Her fitness routine now revolves around weight lifting and she goes to the gym for four consecutive days before having a day off.

She now weighs 8st 2lbs with a tiny 25-inch waist and is a size six to eight.

The motivated teenager regularly uploads workout routines, food diaries, make-up tutorials and vlogs to her YouTube channel.


“I decided it was the time to work on myself. I set myself a goal that by the time I graduated, I wanted to be a woman I was proud of,” said Elle.

“At the beginning it was a means to keep track of my progress, but when I started to get messages from girls who watched me and they told me how much I inspired them, everything changed.

“Knowing I was helping girls who were too nervous to walk into the gym – who felt like I did for so many years – it made me work even harder.”

Elle is taking a degree in Drama but is now also studying to become a personal trainer in her spare time and has already lined up a job at a gym when she qualifies.


And last month she was snapped up by Blackberry modelling agency, which she says was “quite surreal”. She is currently working on a portfolio.

Elle’s YouTube channel, which has racked up 30,000 views, can be found here.