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Bristol bodybuilder used to be bullied at school for being small - Bristol Live

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Small bodybuilder


A once-bullied child living in Bristol has transformed his life after experiencing traumatising teenage years at school.

Iliya Tsikov, now 24, says he sold sandwiches at his school out of fear to support his family, after being bullied for up to three years.

At the age of 13, Iliya had a difficult school experience but didn't let it get the better of him and tried to support his struggling family at the same time, before changing his own life and becoming a bodybuilder.

READ MORE: Warning for people who caught Omicron variant in December

Despite being bullied for his small frame by his classmates, he was determined to try and help his parents by bringing in an extra income.

Iliya said: "When I was 13 I was bullied for two or three years and I took all the pain without doing anything about it.

"I was also selling sandwiches at school before I started going to the gym to support my family.

"I started doing it out of fear, I wasn't actually helping to feed my family as my dad was doing whatever it takes to put food on the table every month.

"However, I knew they were fighting a lot because of money, so I thought if I had some savings I could help as I was so helpless at that age and couldn't do anything."

His family were unaware at first that he was selling sandwiches at school to benefit them.

He added: "My family didn't know I was doing this for the first few months before my mum found out on the third month.

"She was cleaning the house and she found this box under my bed with all my money. At first she was worried because, at that age, your kid could be doing anything.

"When I explained how I got the money and why I did it, everything made sense and my family were cool with it."

He said the financial situation had put a strain on his parents' relationship and that more importantly than the money, his actions made them think about why he had been trying to raise it, which eased the strain.

Sadly Iliya's dad passed away in November 2021, but this has encouraged him to support and look after his mum even more than before.

Iliya, who lives near the Harbourside, said: "My dad passed away and I feel I have no choice but to support my family now.


"My mum is on her own and in a way, I really want to be there for her, and that's my main motivation right now.

"Knowing that she is a lot more vulnerable than me is what keeps me strong and it's why I'm so motivated because I want to bring her happiness again in her life.

'Back then I was angry'
"When you start helping other people, you're taking your life to the next level. You see it's not just you, but the people around you that you help and inspire, that's where I find my motivation the first these days."

Iliya began going to the gym aged 16 after becoming fed up of being bullied for his small frame.

The excessive pain and anger led him to want to change and he's never looked back since.

He added: "Pain can sometimes affect you in the same way as motivation. It gives you a lot of strength and energy when you have so much pain.

"Back then I was so angry and felt so much pain that I wanted to change so badly that I just decided to change, I'd had enough.

"That's when I started working out and since the first time I worked out, I've never stopped."

Liya bodybuilder


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SolidSa

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Even the Legend Eugene Sandow was also bullied when he was young and started weight training...Many legend weren't born strong, they have worked had to earn their strength. Gym has given confidence to my life and to many others like me.. Stay strong brother you look awesome.⭐
 

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