I feel privileged to be able to share this with you, although it’s long ( this is only Part One ) it’s worth reading.
This is Chris’s story in his own words……
My weight loss journey and how 2013 was a defining year in my life
I have always been on the larger side all my life, when growing up one of five children I was the oldest and seemed to be carrying the extra pounds, I have always lacked self -confidence and worry too much about what if’s and maybe’s, I also suffered emotionally as Ii was often ribbed about my size from my brothers and they used to call me “Splodge”, this had been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember I was always big, I also suffered at school with ribbing about my size and I always tried to laugh it off but inside it was hurting.
I did not have a great relationship with my dad as I never really wanted to join in with my other brothers on the farm, who always helped out. When I was about 14 or 15 my relationship with my dad was at its lowest and I had a breakdown; I knew that I was unhappy and my mum knew it too, I think that I became down due to a combination of things, during my teenage years I also suffered from bad tonsillitis.
As I grew up I watched my Mum fight her own battle with her weight issues, going on many different diets over the years. When I look at family photo’s now it is clear to see that on my mum’s side of the family the gene pool is for the larger built, all in excess of 6ft tall. All good Sussex farm stock, my grandparents, uncles and aunts lived and worked on farms all their lives.
I was not the fastest on sports day always at the end of the runners, for cross country and 1500m races. I did enjoy sports as I grew up, football, cricket, swimming, and hockey to name a few. I also took up football refereeing in my late twenties for about five years, this obviously kept me active. Would I say I was fit, I would say not really, but I was active.
From the age of 18 until I was 40, I had mainly manual jobs which also helped keep my weight down, I would say at my heaviest I got up to 16 stone, but thinking back I think the weight gradually kept creeping on but slowly without me really noticing. In 2004 I changed my Job from a manual one to one that initially required me to drive around the country often staying away for a few days at a time in hotels, eating in pubs and motorway service stations, grabbing a sandwich here and there. I think at this time I was around 15 stone.
This lifestyle really did have a major effect on my weight and again I could see it gradually creeping on and even thou I could see it going on, I didn’t really do anything about it, I think this may have been down to mind-set. I look back now and see photos of me during this time; it is very noticeable that the pounds were piling on. When I look back, although I tried to do something about it, I was going about it totally in the wrong way.
Around 7 years ago, I gave up smoking. I had smoked from the age of 16 until the age of 42. I stopped, when after my son Connor had asked me to give up; so after a visit to the doctors, a discussion with my doctor, and armed with some good advice and some patches, I waited until my holiday at Easter to start to try and pack up. For the first month it was a real struggle but the patches helped me and the memory of a 7 year old Connor asking me to do it spurred me on. After the first month I went back to the doctor who prescribed me a lower tar version of the patches. I used these for a week, then work required me to go and sort out a lot of problems on a project in Wales. I travelled down on the Sunday and arrived at my hotel very late.
In the morning I got my patch out and then realised I did not have anything to open it up. I went out to the car and got a Stanley knife out and opened the patch up and put it on. Thinking to myself, must remember to take my knife in tonight to open up the next patch in the morning.
Next morning I went to put my patch on and realised I had no way of opening the packet without a knife, this time thou, I decided to put the patch in my wallet and open it when I got to the car, the next time I saw the patch was on the Saturday morning when I was going through my wallet and saw it there, I had not used a patch since the Monday and never used another one, it wasn’t easy giving up smoking, and for a long time after I hated the smell of cigarettes, in the air, on peoples breath and clothing, even now I get the odd urge for one but I am more tolerant of the smell now and it doesn’t bother me at all.
Potentially I was in excess of 20 stone at my heaviest, I cannot be sure but I quite believe it was possible, I had tried to do the gym thing for a while during this time but either work would get in the way or my head would have an excuse lined up not to do it. I would eat packets of crisps, biscuits, have the largest portions of food in the world, was renowned for my 4 pint spaghetti bolognaise. Thinking back now, how am I still alive, should have had a heart attack years ago. I did have a scare about 4 years ago whilst at work which resulted in me being rushed to hospital, my heart was ok, may have been indigestion or a virus.