HI, EDIT- This is really long.. sorry but the fingers kept going and didn’t slow down. I basically wanted to share a little of my story as an inspiration and a warning and maybe  a little shout out for support too.

About 7 years ago now I tipped up the scales to an alarming 26stone! I was nearly the same weight as my age! I never really had a “wake up call” to start losing weight at that point that I can truly recall I think probably because I really never saw the weight going on me… I should point out at 18yrs old I was a healthy slim long haired model with the 28/30 waist practically perfect for my 6’2 broad frame at the time..it just kind of appeared one day that I was really that big!

That sounds ludicrous to people I’m sure as obviously I was buying larger sizes every few months and clearly shovelling all sorts of crap down my throat but I was truly blinkered to it at the time .. for the most part.  I’m going to contradict myself here in that I DID know I was overweight and was quite clearly massive given the time I tried to get into a smart fancy restaurant bathroom and I couldn’t close the door on the cubicle.. told myself it was tiny made like their portions not their prices! I sat on the balcony of  a really nice bar on a nice day and couldn’t stay long as the arms on the seats were cutting my legs like knives… again they make everything smaller these days modern furniture minimalist style ..that was the reason!  Then there were the times that really did hit me… walking along the street a group of lads in car holler out the windows ” look at the size of the arse on that!” On a night out with friends some girl who ive never met before turns to me quite matter of fact to tell me ” you dont need to be like that” in relation to my size.

So yes I “did know” but yet it was like I blinked it away stored it down somewhere along with the copious amounts of food buried it deep inside with everything else I was carrying but in my own little way denying. I was in a shitty relationship ( just realised I don’t know if swearing get’s allowed on these so apologies if not) and it was coming to a natural end when it did the partying and boozing upped considerably from what it already was .. and it was a lot. I thought nothing of having a bottle of vodka before heading out as it “didnt touch me due to my size”.  I was fortunate enough that I didn’t develop any obesity related illness like diabetes or such like and I think this gave me some ” invincibility mentality” with my ways at this time. I was going for a new job not long after this and the suit I had worn previous was not quite going together on the jacket buttons front and the trouser zip was making it’s way down of it’s own accord ( not a technique i was prepared to try to get a new job!). So off to Menswear store for new suit.. the long walk of shame in this particular store as I’d now came to regard it.. tucked way at the back was the Outsize department.. and my fate of having to buy a 56″ waist trouser!   I was now double the waist size I previously was.

This was the time I thought “maybe I need to do something about this”. I tried weight watchers… sitting in a room being the only male listening to groups of women scream with elation at losing half a pound .. yet if they turned side on you couldnt see them.. did not encourage me much even with an 8lb weight loss the first week. I bought their sweets and snacks and eventually ate them all in one sitting.   I tried Atkins which meant no booze no carbs.. i loved the fry ups and manged to shift 10lbs in ten days then it was my birthday and drinks flowed and that was out the window and the carbs were back in. It was time to speak to my doc.. she was pretty awesome and I knew she would be receptive. She recommended Scottish Slimmers which she did every ten months or so as she liked to pop out babies like a car manufacturing plant! And to add insult to injury she never got “fat” she got a little bump leftover.  I told her I’d tried the other options and didn’t work. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t believe there was any way I could… I know now this was wrong.

However, I asked for surgery. No probs referral went off and consultant appointment booked. I met a jolly fat man.. insert irony here.. he was  pleasant, jolly and as plump as the Fat Controller but he knew his stuff.. just not the best advert!! He accepted me and surgery was scheduled. 2 weeks before I was due to be sliced open from Neck to Navel ( they didn’t do laparascopic ( keyhole)  then). He was going through what would happen etc And it was then he mentioned the general anasthetic again and risks etc

LIGHTENING BOLT HITS… I literally exclaimed to him ” WTF am I doing!?” he thought I was having a nervous reaction to it but I’d accepted everything and this was to be my saviour to get me THIN again ! This wasn’t the case before I knew it I was hearing the words come out of my mouth to him ” I did this to myself it’s up to me to undo it”.  He repeatedly asked me if I was sure and did I not want to think about it but I was so adamant that this inner voice knew something I didn’t that I cancelled the surgery there and then with the one condition that if I was  left with the loose skin he would do the corrective procedure to tidy it up. He agreed and off I went.

I don’t really remember going home from that appointment it was all a bit of haze. Did I really just reject the one thing “guaranteed to work” ?! Would I really manage to ” do it myself”?!  Simple answer YES I DID! Once home I made the decision there and then No more booze No more crap I had to revamp my entire way of eating and stop literally committing suicide the slowest most painful way possible.  I don’t use that term lightly as I felt like I really was killing myself.. emotions were being fed by food but the food made me ultimately feel worse the weight would choke me as I slept. I broke a friends bed and my own bed with falling down onto them , I have busted both ankles going over on them due to weight. The prospect of not being able to walk or breath unaided is not a pleasant one.

I went to Tesco the next day and really looked at what I had been buying the government hadn’t long  implemented the Traffic Lights labelling on packets. The ready meals I so readily loved and enjoyed and gorged upon struck me like a mallet to the skull. The macaroni cheese alone was 112% of the daily recommended allowance of Saturated fat! I was 12 % over in one tiny ding meal!! The others weren’t much better. I started to look at my most loved Dairy milks and other chocolate. I wandered round that shop for nearly two hours before leaving with nothing. It truly hit me how radical an overhaul I had to make and I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy but the real question I had to ask myself was ” in another 7 years will I be a 70″ waist or will I have to have been lowered by a truck in to a specially widened grave in my specially made coffin!?”

I went back to the store and never ventured past the first 3 aisles. The checkout girl said in amazement it was the healthiest trolley she’d ever seen go through. Guess I did something right at that point. And so it began my journey from 26stone .. banana for breakfast maybe an egg or two .. banana at  first break at work .. steamed veg with a tin of tuna for lunch.. salmon salad at dinner .. this was my typical way of eating from the get to go and it was hell… not to gross you out too much but my body pretty much violently rejected it after every meal time …wiling away that time made me realise I had never really appreciated how badly I wall papered my bathroom !! The sugar detox was hell.. pounding headaches stomach pangs and nausea  but they were quelled with copious amounts of water and a determination of knowing they would pass.

I started to walk to work… I only lived ten minutes walk from my then job however, I kept my local taxi firm in business for the best part until now I’m pretty sure a few guys were majorily pissed at their drop in takings ferrying me back and forth these short journeys . On my way to work I passed a uni gym.. the thought of this was hideous to me… Im so fat and everyone I see in there walking past are all super fit and bounding about jumping in the air like they were happy sweaty fleas at a rave. I didn’t believe I could be part of that because I was like this until I came to realise chances are they didn’t all start like that and everyone has to start somewhere.  I went in signed up and booked in for induction and started slowly… treadmill I didnt like much the resounding boom as my frame weighed down on each step was deafening to me and surely scaring those around me. Then I discovered the elliptical trainer… this bitch of exercise equipment owned me initally  and I was determined to own it back… it soon became my best friend.

I never seen the guy who did my induction for a couple months with schedule conflicts …till one day I seen him in corridor and said Hi.. he cordially said hi but with a puzzled look and walked by … then raced in front of me to ask ” is it really you!? you’ve did fantastic !!”  My weight drops from my face first ( which is a plus and minus all at the same time!) so was a compliment to my efforts I had changed that much. That was my first real sense of I’m doing this and I’m doing it right.. I’d been in a new type of haze and routine without realising the results were really there.. sure I’d seen the number drop on the scales but I had still been wearing a lot of the same clothes just now they didn’t hug me in a strangle hold like they once had.

Long story short and  I know how long this has gone on for but I can’t seem to stop typing so my apologies if I’ve bored you to tears by now with this but… I went from 26stone to 15st 4 in a year. I tried to post a side by side pic up there but it must’ve been too big ( no pun intended ) as it cut half of each of me out! I didn’t have much in the way of loose skin as such but more  a pooch left over and I thought would be a good time to get back to doc and enquire about the skin removal surgery as figured i would need a “lift” to ever get that flat stomach. Back I went to see the doc who I hadn’t seen in this time as she had been back at the plant popping out another kid.  The best validation came when I was sat in the waiting room and she came out and called me. I got up walked straight up to her and she looked right through me not knowing who I was. I had to speak to her and tell her it was me! She started screaming in middle of waiting room” omg well done I can’t believe it!! tell me you won the money you must have won the money!” ( she was the scottish slimmers advocate) much to the dismay of the other patients.

She happily submitted my request for the surgery and given it was a two year wait potentially ..agreed it was good to apply now.  The letter came two weeks later… they rejected me! I had shed near on 11 stone  but I was still too overweight they want me to be 13 stone 12lb my ” ideal weight!!” At 13stone 12lb I would look emaciated given my height and breadth! I didn’t think it had affected me that much being refused despite initially feeling like a kick in the teeth and lied to by the consultant . However, accepted it and moved on. 18 months down the line from starting this and was happy where I was at size shape and sitting comfortable in my 34″ levis.

I hadn’t had a drop of alcohol in this whole time not a single drop drip or sip touched my lips ( cough bottles don’t count!) . My slow downfall came shortly after.. went to London with a mate who drank like a fish! Which had been fine at home etc but for some reason the ” im on holiday ” mentality crept in to me and I decided to buy a carafe of wine instead of the half he’d asked for.  Slippery slope crept in another bottle of wine drinks at hotel .. next morning meant as much stodge as I could get and sugar was like cocaine to me.  I didn’t stop after this holiday blow out.. my sugar addiction had been reignited and was out of control… my vicious circle of drinking partying and eating to counter it and my need for constant sugar fully enveloped me again and has continued to do so since.

Other factors were at play with mood, depression, toxic friendships the loss of a job the starting of another new one, a house move, a family member being seriously ill, a cancer scare but these are all things that one should be able to manage in a normal way not feed them with food.. which I did and have done up until this very week. I stood on the ever shiny glass scales on Monday after a ” heavy night on it” and seen where they rested… two stone up from the start of this year I had peaked at 24 stone. HOW!? WHY?! were all i could keep asking myself.  I had re- suffered abuse in the street as recently as last week being called lard ass and fat boy by a couple of ho’s who were in really in no place to talk but it still cuts and cuts deeper than some would realise.

That’s when I realised a cycle of pain, emotion and mental issues hugely contribute to weight gain as no-one in a balanced content mind would wilfully do this to themselves.. there is no logical reason to do so. I’m breaking out the cycle again.. the ” switch” I flipped that day in the consultants office had seemed miles out of my reach for some time but I found it again as it stands today I’m 23 stone 1lbs. I know that’s a lot in  4 days to lose but given water weight etc perfectly normal for first week.  I’ve had no sugar – unnatural refined sugar that is- this week at all. Headaches weren’t too bad this time as I think acceptance of change is upon me and the yearning and need to be healthy again is here… not to offput the nasty comments, the snide looks or indeed to slide into a restaurant toilet or pub chair but to feel well look well not be in pain not be an addict to sugar and to deal with whatever one has going on in a proper manner. And to steal which I believe was a weight watchers phrase I’m doing it …This Time For The Last Time!! I know the road I have ahead and I’m sure it’s the same as many of you are travelling or indeed have travelled… this time though it would be nice to not travel it wholly alone as I did the first time round…..