Curtis Pritchard has revealed he became a WW (Weight Watchers) ambassador after being fat shamed in the Love Island villa.
The reality star, 23, joined the weight loss programme after gaining two stone during his time on the ITV2 show, and girlfriend Maura Higgins has been his biggest cheerleader on the journey.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Curtis admitted that a lifetime of crash diets had a negative impact on both his mental and physical health, so is committed to finding a sustainable alternative.
Shamed: Curtis Pritchard has revealed he became a WW (Weight Watchers) ambassador after being fat shamed in the Love Island villa
He explained: ‘WW is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always had my weight on show as a dancer and now coming into the villa, and being even more in the public eye, I got a bit of fat shaming.
‘We’re in 2019, that shouldn’t be happening these days. It upset me and played on my mind.
‘I’ve always fluctuated with my weight, and I want to create a healthy living lifestyle, something I can maintain. I’ve done crash diets all my life – in one month I could lose a stone and a half and put it all back on again.
‘I don’t want that. It’s so bad mentally and physically.’
Support: The reality star, 23, joined the weight loss programme as an ambassador and girlfriend Maura Higgins has been his biggest cheerleader
Discussing the stigma that surrounds men and dieting, he reasoned: ‘I believe everyone’s equal, but men feel like they need the masculinity, we feel a bit smaller talking about our weight.
‘As men we don’t have that strength, it doesn’t need to be like that.’
Curtis revealed that he is losing weight for himself, not anyone else, but is glad that he has a supportive network behind him, including his Strictly pro brother AJ, and his parents.
Fluctuating: Curtis gained two stone in the Love Island villa and has admitted that he’s struggled with his weight in the past, turning to crash dieting
His girlfriend Maura has also been helpful in building up his body confidence, with Curtis musing: ‘She’s super supportive of everything I do and vice versa, she’s lovely on that part.
‘She thinks I look manly. As long as I’m happy, she’s happy.’
Curtis and Maura met over the summer in the Love Island villa, where they finished in fourth place during the grand finale.
Although their co-stars have gone on to either make things official, or break up, Curtis revealed he’s in no rush to ‘put a label’ on their relationship.
Smitten: Curtis and Maura have been dating for more than two months but are yet to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend, with the rumour mill in overdrive that they secretly split
The couple, who have been dating for more than two months now, are yet to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend, and the rumour mill has gone into overdrive that they secretly split.
However, Curtis rubbished claims that they aren’t together, musing: ‘It’s weird, everything is fantastic with us.’
Defending their decision not to make things official, he continued: ‘I’m very old fashioned. I believe don’t rush things in life, think of the longevity, think of the long term.
‘Things have a plan. If you are with someone… its back to labels again, everyone labels things these days. But if you are seeing someone, you don’t go out and do something with anyone else, you just focus on them.’
No labels: Curtis has spoken about his disdain for labels in the past, opting not to put a label on his sexuality after he revealed that he would be open to dating men in the future
Curtis has spoken about his disdain for labels in the past, opting not to put a label on his sexuality after he revealed that he would be open to dating men in the future.
Asked whether he feels a responsibility to discuss his sexuality in the public eye, the former Dancing With The Stars professional mused: ‘Love Island does reach out to a lot of people, and if you use it properly it can be a platform and can support people.’
He continued: ‘My goal in this life is to be happy. And whatever makes you happy you should do, whether it’s this, that, whatever it is.’
Explaining that he’s more concerned with his health than what anyone has to say about his sexual preferences, he continued: ‘That’s why I’m joining WW. It’s not about what people said about my sexuality.
‘I know if I don’t maintain a healthy lifestyle I will feel depressed and that’s the biggest thing for me. You need to do whatever makes you happy.’
He added: ‘My message to everyone is be happy in life. Appreciate what you have.
‘Find something that makes you happy and go with it, as then all of the other things will fall into place.
‘Do you, be proud of who you are, whether that is sexuality, whether that is anything.’
Curtis’ words of wisdom: Do you, be proud of who you are, whether that is sexuality, whether that is anything’
Curtis’ wise words echo his time on Love Island, where he quickly became the unofficial villa agony aunt.
He struggled to take his own advice, however, when he ‘cheated’ on his half-girlfriend Amy Hart by expressing his feelings for Jourdan Riane.
Their relationship soon came to an abrupt halt, and Amy opted to leave the villa after struggling to watch her ex start up a relationship with Maura.
Friendly exes: Curtis revealed he’s still on good terms with his ex Amy Hart, who he dated in the villa before moving on with Maura
The pair have remained friends, however, with Curtis revealing: ‘I have been in contact. Obviously we don’t go out for dinner together, but we are on good terms’.
Curtis has also remained close with the rest of his Love Island co-stars, and insisted there are no bad feelings towards show winners Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea, who split just 39 days after leaving the villa.
‘I’m not annoyed one bit,’ he laughed. ‘Do whatever makes you happy. Do what you want and the end goals will come.’
Jovial: Curtis proudly displayed the results of his recent weight loss as he exited a JD event in Manchester on Thursday
Toned: The dancer cut a casual figure in a grey tracksuit as he left Crazy Pedro’s following the brand’s launch bash