I can’t speak about myself in the third person, I have enough issues without starting that malarky. With that in mind I shall refer to myself as I. As in I did this and I did that, I said this and then I said that.
You getting the picture people…..
Well, here we are. Finally, it’s all about me.
Pretty much the first thing most people notice about me is my smooth mellifluous voice floating my witty observations, speaking confidently and with knowledge.
Well, that’s what they notice if we are talking on the phone.
Lets face it, I’m no wilting violet, no wallflower and people my size tend to catch others eyes in a kind of “stick out like a sore thumb” kind of way. Well not so much a thumb but a bloody big thing in a world where it just isn’t the done thing to be such.
I am a big chap, thats what Phil Gayle from BBC Radio Oxford called me and he is correct.
I have been the subject of discrimination due to my size, I have been the subject of humiliation due to my size. I have been called all of the fat names under the sun. However, I am lucky enough to be quite broad and can appear ferocious at times, so these episodes are to be honest, kept to a minimum.
However, when they do happen, I find there is always one of two things that you can say.
The first is the classic “Yes, I may be fat, but I can diet and you will always be a………(Fill In Here) The Second is my favourite. “If you don’t have anything decent to say to me, don’t talk to me” That one really does tend to finish them off.
Well thats from my experience anyway.
As you will read in this blog, I have a weight issue and as such I have decided to undergo Bariatric Surgery with the Oxford Bariatric Service. This has been a relatively painless, if long process but you never feel left out or let down by the people you deal with as they only want the same for you. The support is amazing, the pre and post op facilities are second to none and that goes for the staff as well. It honestly makes me look forward to the whole experience with a very positive mindset.
I really do have to say that I am so glad that I have started this process and to be honest would not have it any other way. There have been no snap decisions, nothing has been left to chance, everything is carefully planned and tailored for the individual. I am sure I could have tried to get a loan and looked at going for surgery privately, but would they have checked my psychological state, my expectations, my issues and current problems? Would they have given me the support of dieticians helping to lose the pre operation 10% body weight? Or would they simply have cashed the cheque, done the work and let me out back into the world?
I honestly do not know how these two would compare, but I do know one thing, I am very happy with the service so far.
Anyway, more about me.
I was born in the JR in Oxford, I was raised in Wantage where I attended King Alfred’s School when it was King Alfred’s and not just a part of a three school consolidation. I completed my schooling with O’ Levels and C.S.E’s, I went out with Melanie, a nice girl of the same age, worked in Waitrose in the town as my part-time job and then finally started my journey from boyhood into manhood with a full time position at Austin Rover Cars in Cowley. I was employed as an apprentice Tool Design Engineer and I hated it.
I thought I was joining to help design cars, how wrong I was!
I spent the first year getting up at the crack of dawn and heading in to the apprentice school to learn how to weld and how to use a lathe and a mill and a grinder and all other industrial type machines. Looking back now, I think this was the only part I actually enjoyed, getting my hands dirty, feeling like I was accomplishing something. The rest of the time was spent seeing how much I could skive off and disappear down the production line looking for parts for my Mini.
Easy Days, but no direction.
I eventually finished the apprenticeship and left as soon as I could. Moving into a range of sales jobs, all ending in the same way. Me leaving.
I had to come up with an idea of what I liked to do lest I be aimless all of my life.
I liked cars, I liked the sales environment.
So car sales its was and the more I sold, the more my waistline grew.
So nowadays I am a single man, father to a son Fraser, grandfather to a grandson Taylor and I hope I have a great deal of life ahead of me. The only thing missing is a partner. A girlfriend, A significant other, call it what you will. Hopefully after the surgery, the result of losing weight will be an increase in my confidence and a hope that the opposite sex might start to find me as attractive as I find them, well, here’s hoping anyway.
Since my health issues have really started to affect daily life, my work is now limited to a much less active daily bread. I am trying to be a writer of sorts and have many ideas in the pipe line along with completed and part finished works. However, this allows me to write this blog. It allows me to investigate the possibility of Bariatric Surgery and all the time and effort it takes up. It allows me to consider other media outlets and if my rambling old nonsense helps one person identify with any part of my life and see that they are only a phonetical away from help then, I think my work may have just found me.
I personally look at the opportunity of this surgery as completing my life by getting it back ‘on an even keel’. I am a very happy guy on the whole, I live a nice enough and comfortable enough life, However at times I wish I could do more, I wish I had fewer ‘Dark Days’, I wish I was fitter and yet these are all things that I know will change with the advent of the weight loss surgery.
I am looking forward to the hard work that will be required, knowing full well that I will have the support of all of my friends and family. I also know that I am very fortunate to have friends and family. It is well-known that being this big can lead to so many changes in your life, that cutting yourself off is an all to regular occurrence and can be one of the worse things a person can do. I admit to having done it myself in the past, I am happy to stay home for three or four days at a time, seeing or speaking to no one. I order junk food, don’t take care of myself and generally fulfil the stereotype I am labelled with. I suppose it’s all part of the self-destruction feeling that people in my position feel from time to time. We know we can rely on ourselves, we won’t get judged by ourselves if we don’t want to and therefore we can hide any upset from ourselves quite easily, especially if there is a big bar of chocolate or a greasy high calorie takeaway to help.
Anyway, this blog is about looking forward and being positive. It is about where I am and what I hope to achieve in the future now that the die is being cast.
I have no real idea what I would like to do with my future me. I know there are some things I would like to achieve. I would like to do the Rally School Day I was excluded from because I was too heavy. I should like to do a lap of a racing circuit in a real racing car. I would like to learn how to ride a sports bike around a race track (I was always more of a Harley plodder) I would like to go to see my football team play more often. There are so many things that I would like to do but honestly, being large and overweight, I simply do not allow myself to do them, or even think about doing them.
Obviously some of my dreams and aspirations are directly related to weight. I can’t safely get in and out of a racing car or a rally car for that matter. I am pretty certain I would be too unfit to ride a sports bike on a race track to do it any justice. However, things such as going to football, increasing my circle of friends, asking a girl out are all things that can be done today but they are also things that require confidence. I used to have bags of it. I exuded it. Nothing phased me. I travelled the world at the age of 24, on my own with no clue of where I would end up, who I would meet or what I would do. Nowadays, I cannot even walk into my local pub without being sure that the person I am meeting is actually there, thank god for mobile phones!
Being fat isn’t simply about eating too much and not caring about your self-image. It isn’t just about saying to hell with it and getting on with things anyway. It’s about fighting yourself constantly everyday to try to do the right thing, to eat healthily, to take some exercise on a regular basis. To have confidence in yourself to go to the cinema on your own or the football match and not be obsessing about what will happen when you get there. Will the seat be big enough, will you fit through the turnstiles.
It can be pretty shit sometimes.
Remember people, this is not a lifestyle choice, well certainly not in my case.
Like I said before and in other parts of this blog, I wasn’t always overweight. I was once slim, active, healthy. Now the only exercise I get is pretty much restricted to a hobble up the stairs to my flat. It makes me say again, I am so looking forward to the rest of my life now that Oxford Bariatric are involved
I can see myself having the confidence to go back to college to learn a new skill, I can see myself having the confidence to really try to do something with the screen play I have written, with the one I am writing and with all of the other film and TV ideas I have buzzing around my head all day long!
It all seems amazing to think that I am here now, writing this.
Well I honestly would not have been doing it if it had not have been for BBC Radio Oxford’s Journalist, Nicola Lawrence. The bariatric surgery support group that I attend, OBBO, sent out an email last year, asking if anyone would be happy to talk to Nicola about the increasing number of weight loss operations taking place in Oxfordshire. I replied and said I was waiting for the op and would be happy to discuss.
Well one thing borrowed another and I ended up being interviewed on Radio Oxford by the mighty Phil Gayle.
Then I was interviewed on TV by the lovely Adina Campbell
Then after positive feedback from the editor types at BBC South, I was asked if I would keep a video blog and an ordinary blog and do the twitter etc.
So thats where we are folks. I am writing a Blog because Auntie asked me to.
I hope she likes it, but honestly, I hope you like it even more.