It all started as a small child. I was always a chubby kid, my parents were Greek migrants who grew up during the depression with minimum food to be had, once they reached the lucky country and had a family of their own they over compensated their difficult childhood by feeding their children and making sure there was always food on the table. A fat child was a happy child. I was a fussy eater with a preference for sweet, starchy foods which did not help. My siblings though did not have a weight problem, they ate everything. Mum worked days and dad worked nights so that we do not go without. When my brother was born, I had a playmate, we were soul mates and we did everything together, he was 15 months younger than me. When my brother was two an unforseen illness left him with brain damage and he was diagnosed with severe Cerebral Palsy. Being a three year old I did not understand what had happened and that was the beginning of my spiralling decline. I reverted into myself; I had lost my friend, playmate, soul mate. He was a lump on the bed, unresponsive, I was alone and abandoned. My parents gave me extra attention to compensate and food then became my friend, my comfort, my protection. It would not let me down; it would fill the void inside. We could not go out like other families such as picnics, parties, general outings. We were home all the time, money was tight as mum had to stop work and be a full time carer to her son. Friends and family would visit us and would always bring goodies, sweets and chocolate for the kids and this was pretty much how life continued until my adult years. My brother passed at the age of 46, five years ago, and the pain of losing him was unbearable but I had to stay strong for the family, they’d lost a child. I sought comfort in food, it helped me grieve.
Although I was overweight and getting bigger I made friends easily. Always happy, always funny but it masked a lot of hurt. I had many friends and if someone did take an interest in me I would never believe they liked me; I was not skinny enough nor pretty enough regardless of how they felt. I’d go out but always felt frumpy, days at the beach were marred with terror,” whose looking at me? I’ll wait till they move on before I go into the water” 30 mins later I’d pluck up the courage to quickly jump in then wait endlessly before coming out in case I was seen. Many diets were tried but the weight returned with interest and I was larger than before. I finally did meet a nice man who accepted me for who I was, he was not one for much socialising so we’d spend a lot of time at home and I would spend a lot of that time comfort eating to relieve the boredom. That relationship ended 14 years later and that was my turning point. Enough was enough; it was my time to shine. I was getting older and had lived a part time life. I started cutting out snacks at night and eating a little less. I felt my clothes getting a little bigger but not a major change that’s when I found Cambridge . It all started in August 2017 when a friend of mine introduced me to the Cambridge Weight plan. She was on the program for a few weeks and was seeing results, and then another mutual friend joined Cambridge. I had nothing to lose except weight and my self esteem. If two of my friends were doing Cambridge then all of us could support each other. I began to take back control of me and stop life controlling me. I called my consultant Maria Akritidis who has since been my rock and I have never looked back. One month into the program I attended a conference interstate, two months in, minor surgery and a month later major surgery and I continued to lose weight. The Cambridge products are so amazing that I would not have recovered in record time much to the surprise of my surgeon. Through all this I still managed to lose weight albeit a little slower but I could not have done it without my consultant’s constant support.