I have been battling with my weight since the age of 11, my family advised me that it was the types of food I ate and lack of exercise. I was confused, as a young child I loved sports and was very active, I really enjoyed playing football regularly in London Fields Park. My love for food such as chocolate, crisp and all the things a child could desire became a daily routine that ultimately led to such a quick weight gain which looking back I believe was emotional comfort eating.
As I got to my teenage years I lost the weight and managed to keep it off for a few years. I then gained it back at the age of 18 by then I was in college and not active at all. I was always driving, it got to a stage that I was travelling abroad and needing an extended belt on the plane due to the normal size supplied not fitting around my waist. It was at this point that I realised that I was obese.
I guess I was in denial as I always looked up to famous rappers such as Notorious BIG, Big Pun and Fat Joe. I believed it was ok to be big and was happy to follow that fashion as I was a likeable guy and never fell short when it came to the ladies, however, I was a very shy guy.
Years later my father then took me to our family doctors who has known me since birth and explained his concern about my weight my father did not live with me and our relationship was very distant. During the conversation and hearing my father express his concerns I then realised the severity of my weight. My doctor was very close to my family and myself after he expressed his concerns he referred me to a Leisure Centre in Hoxton who were running a health program this entailed weight management, exercise and food intake, to be honest, this did not help, the program ran for 9 weeks and the sessions were very repetitive. I felt that in most of the sessions the staff didn’t engage enough and did not quite understand that being obesity is more than just food there was no motivation at all, it was almost like I was just there to show my face. In the end I did not complete the program I lasted 3 weeks, I gained more weight and got to my highest ever weight of 27 stones at this point it became too much for me, I was taking on my family’s stress and juggling my own issues this led to me comfort eating I felt emotionally stressed and as a result was not looking after myself.
My father once again took me to see my doctor and begged him to look into other options of help as the previous referral to the local leisure centre had failed. My doctor decided the best option was Gastric band surgery and referred me to Whitechapel hospital.
I panicked at the thought of this, this scared me and I didn’t want to go through going under the knife to lose weight. I remember having a meeting with the surgeon and him saying I would have to lose some weight before the operation takes place. Just the thought of the operation frightened me. I was then given a date for the operation and as the date neared the reality of it kicked in, I could not go through with it. I spoke to my father about it and he strongly advised me to re-think my decision as he felt doing the operation was the best solution. In the end, I decided not go through with the Gastric Band Surgery.
I started going gym again and was determined that I could do it by myself,
I focused on the fact that I had got myself in this position I’m the only one that can get myself out of it. There was a little progress in the beginning but nothing to the extreme.
I then approached it in a holistic way by this I was doing Meditation and Mindfulness groups, tackling my past life experiences and started to believe in myself again. I then started to see the progress my weight started to drop more and more.
To date I continue with my weight loss journey, my friend who is also trying to lose weight has joined me. We started jogging and doing exercises out of our comfort zone, most important we have started to love ourselves learning to put ourselves first instead of trying to solve everyone’s problems. This helped us gain more confidence within our self. I have learnt how to not let things bring me down as much as they used to.
The reason behind the setup of Mind over Weight is to aim to help others in areas that other establishments are not covering. There is a lot of obesity and so many people such as myself wanted help with battling this.
I feel that going through these experiences from being a boy to has now enabled me to inspire others and help those through their journey by making a change to better people’s life. So far I have lost a total of 8 stones and aim to keep on losing.
I started a Twitter called mind over weight and started sending out motivation tweets, I began designing T-shirts and started to get a high volume of interest not only from the UK but to international countries such as USA and Australia.
For further motivation, I speak to people through email and social media websites I want people to understand that it’s all in your mind. Your mindset is what determines you. Your mindsets your vision, your body and soul.
I currently hold weekly Group sessions based in a friend’s house in Hackney, based around counselling, and Mediation. Our meetings include self- motivation, speak your mind which gives the opportunity to de-stress. I have recently started a documentary about my journey and will share this with others, this will show my ups and downs, day to day thoughts and emotions and exercise routine this is very motivational for people showing that if you believe you will achieve. I am now studying to be a Counsellor and have a great team beside me who thrive off the challenge in helping Hackney and the rest of the world to live creatively and fight obesity.