This time last year I sat myself down and had a very serious talk with myself. I told myself that if I didn't get on and sort myself out, there was a serious chance that I wouldn't live to be very old. Pregnancy and childbirth, an office job sitting for 10 hours every day at a computer, and menopause had done some serious damage. My blood pressure was so high, it was a miracle that my head hadn't exploded. I was walking around feeling as if I was in a constant fog. I had no energy, no motivation, and felt so stressed that I could barely face the next day. Every time I took a breath, I put on another kilogram of weight, and was now 92kg (15 stone), which is morbidly obese. My blood sugar levels were on the verge turning diabetic, and my cholesterol levels were increasing. I have a family history of high blood pressure and diabetes, so knew if I didn't do something serious about my lifestyle, I might not live any older than my Gran, who died just after her 65th birthday.
I took control of my life in two ways. Firstly, I joined Weight Watchers and started to follow a nutritional plan. The second thing I did was join a gym and sign up with Craig for weekly sessions. It was scary at first. I was horribly intimidated by all the gorgeous young people at the gym, compared to me...old, fat and ugly. It was also scary working with Craig at first, because I didn't know how he could possibly relate to me being young, male and fit. However, the weekly sessions became a vital part of my progress because they kept me motivated and on track. In other words, I could kid myself, but not Craig. He gave me weekly plans to follow, taught me how to use the gym equipment, and helped me get over my gym shyness. He tested and challenged me, but I never felt he judged me, and he always tailored things to meet my needs. I'll be honest, this has not been cheap. I have made sacrifices and given up other things to pay for my sessions with Craig. But I have seen it as an investment in my future, both on a physical and psychological level.
A year later, the benefits to my physical and mental health have been huge. I have lost 29.5 kg (4.5 stone) and now have a normal BMI. My blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol are normal. I am fitter than I have been for years, and I have started running for the first time in my life. I have a new job, and I can wear my wedding ring again for the first time in 24 years. Looking back, I would say the hardest part was recognizing that I had to do something with my life, and taking the first step to make changes. But once I made that step and put support measures in place, such as working with Craig every week, everything else fell into place. Who knows, I still might not live past 65 years, but at least now I have the ability to enjoy every day of my life.