I was born in Barrow-in-Furness, UK in 1968. I had a fairly happy childhood, my family never had much in terms of money, but mum and dad made sure that we went without anything and that good food was always on the table (a bit too much sometimes!). At the age of 11, when I started secondary school I was constantly tempted by the pie shops and café’s that he needed to walk past to get there from his home. All the money from my paper round went on snacks. When I was about 16 I lost a lot of his puppy fat gained from my early teens and was quite slender for a while but it did not last! (it lasted about 3 weeks) The problem was I started to work at a holiday camp during the summer months – and all of my money earned went on food. I remember my dad telling me that I would get very big if I did not cut back, on this occasion I wish I had listened, by the age of 18 my weight was at around 25 stones.
In 1988 I moved to Manchester and started at Manchester polytechnic studying a degree in Economics. I enjoyed the course as well as the freedom to eat what I liked, when I liked and eat I did! In 1990 I moved in with a friend and decided to lose some weight. At this point I weighed about 28 stone and within around six months I managed to get down to 18 stone. By the time I graduated I looked and felt great. However, my low confidence coupled with low self esteem saw me fall into a dead end job and a cycle of binge eating and depression. The years that followed saw the weight continue to pile on and despite spells of weight loss I would always put it back on and more. By January 2003, I most probably weighed in excess of 50 stones and it was getting hard for me to hold down my job as a bingo caller. At this point I promised my mum, that I would lose weight and did manage to lose some but as soon as my ulcerated legs healed I returned to what I knew best eating. It was my best friend, it asked no questions of me and made no demands. In August 2003, my best friend Lucy Horan fearing for my life wrote to ITV’s This Morning asking for help. In February 2004 I met with Dr Chris Steele from ITV’s This Morning and together we started a fantastic journey together. Dr Chris and I worked together on a simple weight loss programme based on a low fat and light moderate exercise. When I first met with Dr Chris I weighed 44 stones and 2 pounds. “You need to be about 13 and half stone for your height, but we know you won’t be able to do that” said Dr Chris. Even the most optimistic person would not predict that within a year I would have lost over 20 stones (a UK record) and in just over two years be running the London Marathon and reaching a goal weight of 13 and a half stones.
I has managed to keep the weight off for the past 2 years (it has been a really challenge and sometimes very testing and I am now looking forward to new opportunities my come his way.
You might be wondering why I am posting this on an Australian website .. well i am actually in Australia (in Mudgee) at the moment and trying to help encourage and support others in weight loss by telling my story.