MAN OF THE YEAR RUNNER-UP
I grew up in what's typically considered a dysfunctional family where routine did not exist and discipline was not something I experienced or recognised. My early years were spent living with my Grandma who was, and still is, a significant character. The lack of stability, discipline and routine resulted in me making some unhealthy choices, both in my food choices and in who I chose to hang out with.
I began to gain weight from an early age and remember feeling self-conscious as a young lad. It affected me in a number of ways such as self-confidence, esteem and feeling like I didn't quite fit in as I was not so good at sport. Obviously kids can also be mean and my peers often made fun of me.
My Father left when I was a baby and I didn't have much contact after this with him I remember waiting for him to pick me up at times yet he rarely turned up leaving me feeling rejected and unloved. My Mother worked very unsociable hours which meant I was home alone for a large proportion of time. Mum compensated for not being there by buying me food and lots of snacks. Whilst this resulted in me being very popular with friends as my home became the place to hang out with lots of snacks and pop, it did nothing for my waistline.
Mum never cooked vegetables, so my diet was mainly meat and carbohydrates, supplemented by high sugar and high fat snacks. Needless to say my weight increased rapidly and my self-esteem dramatically declined.
When I became a father I continued my unhealthy eating patterns. I remember feeling really conscious of my weight at a sports day. I was not able to get involved like the other parents were and I know my eldest son felt embarrassed by me due to my weight.
Looking back over the years, it's easy for me now to see that the portion sizes I ate were huge and I just never gauged when I was full.
My personal relationships suffered as well as my health. I had high blood pressure, border line diabetes and sleep apnoea. Going to bed with an oxygen mask wasn’t a sexy look!
I tried to lose weight through other means. I joined the gym and a boot camp with the hope that this would work. The exercise helped me get fit and increase / improve my stamina but I didn't change my eating habits so fat turned to muscle.
Even though this wasn't the success that I hoped, it was the start of me evaluating my relationship with food and becoming aware of what, and how much I was eating. I over ate at every meal and would eat the children's left overs. I can remember feeling so full that my chest hurt. The physical stresses and strains showed themselves by me: struggling to breathe; falling asleep; experiencing constant back pain; joints (especially knees) hurting and finally; walking was a struggle. All of these health issues in my 30's!!!
I had reached 'rock bottom' and knew that I had to take action, that's when Cambridge entered my life and when the journey of becoming healthy began. I embarked on my weightloss journey with Dual Dynamics and from the outset I completely trusted my mentors and committed myself to the programme. I found it extremely hard at the beginning as I was accustomed to eating 4-5000 calories a day and the drastic reduction in calories and the need for untold litres of water, I remember asking myself, when will I stop feeling hungry? Joining the Cambridge groups was of immense support as there is a real sense of community- we are all in it together and at different stages of our journeys so we supported each other.
Getting to goal...
The elation I felt when I stepped on the scales was such an amazing feeling, I entered this programme at 25st and I'm now a few pounds off losing a total of 10 stone.
My life has changed beyond belief. I'm fitter, healthier and, much to my partner's relief, I no longer sleep with an oxygen mask!!! I have a different understanding and appreciation of food and I eat to live not live to eat.
I owe so much to my mentors Lawrence & Sharon who have been patient, yet firmly assertive. They excelled at setting boundaries which I needed as, at times, I wanted to give up. Their advice formed through years of experience has helped me through some very difficult times.
I truly believe in the Cambridge way of life, it's given me back my life, and I eat to live not live to eat.
Rate: 16 months *The weight lost and/or timeframes are particular to this slimmer. Everyone’s weight loss journey is unique to them.