The Story of a Fat Lad From Manchester


Full Member
Warning warning warning Will Robinson. This is a heck of a long post. It covers my journey from 1962 when I was born to now, and I would blame you not one bit if you guys decided against reading it.

For those that dig in and stick with it until the bitter end, well done in advance, for those on the other hand with a life of their own; now would be a great time to remember that fact and go live it rather than spend it reading this crap. You have been warned

Well it started in 1962 when a cute baby boy (Or so I'm told
) was delivered to my hastily married parents. Mum always told everyone I was born a month premature as that meant I was conceived in wedlock, truth is my medical records strangely do not back this up. LOL I guess shotgun weddings were not unheard of even in the decade of free love.

I was a skinny kid (No really) who showed no interest in food but whose doctor said it was ok for mum to replace a balanced diet with milk and chocolate to ensure I at least ate something. How dietary advice has changed since then. Up until I was twelve or so you could count my ribs I was so thin, then I discovered the joys of lifting weights at school and soon built a young athletic powerful and hunky body. At least that’s how I remember it LOL.

At twelve and a half I met my soul mate. There had been lots of girlfriends (I was devilishly handsome remember......just kidding
) of my own age, but Val was 15. Two and a half years between us is hardly noticeable now, but back then to be going out with a girl in her final year elevated me to legendary status in the schoolyard. It was funny but this made me even more popular with girls my own age that seemed to see it as their mission to save me from this cradle snatcher. When at 15 I moved in with Val so I could stay at my school when my parents moved to the other side of town this only enhanced the status my mates gave me.

I left school and won an apprenticeship with a heavy goods vehicle dealership where I trained to be a mechanic, and a very good one I was too. It was a great job but the winters were hell. Trucks hold a lot of water when wet, and drip for hours. We were constantly wet and lying or kneeling on the wet garage floor was killing my back and knees. I had stayed on at college and qualified as a fleet engineer with a certificate of professional competence which meant I could be a transport manager which was my dream job, but at 23 no one would consider me for that role, I was advised to come back in a year or two.

My father worked for a huge business service company as a supervisor and his guys were earning more as cleaners, than I was as a skilled technician, so I joined his company as a cleaner with the intention of leaving in a couple of years to go into transport management. Val and I had bought a house and she wanted a baby so the extra money was really useful even though I was working seven days a week to get it. Nearly three years later our beautiful daughter was born kicking and screaming into an unsuspecting world.

I had started to gain weight at an alarming rate from 16. I guess it was the sausage sandwiches served by the lovely Marie in the works canteen, also I had discovered the demon pleasures brought by alcohol and was putting vast quantities down my neck most evenings. My weight ballooned to over 250 pounds and I had to do something about. I went back to weight training and road running and soon my weight was down to 161. At 27 my weight was 180 pounds but my body fat was less than 5%. With a waist of 28 inches and chest 46 inches I was at the peak of my physical fitness, training four nights a week lifting ridiculous amounts of weight and running nine miles, three nights a week too. I looked and felt absolutely fantastic, it was the best period of my life, and I was fighting the ladies off with a stick, I was madly in love with my partner and had a beautiful young daughter. Life was good. Scratch that life was chuffin great.

My boss wanted me to accept a job as a supervisor but I was unsure if I was going to stay, the allure of the transport industry was still great, but he persisted and convinced me that the management experience I would gain with him would make it easier to get a transport managers job in a year or two.

It was a pressurised job and I was too young to deal with the pressure so turned again to the demon drink. I climbed into a bottle at 29 and stayed there for nearly ten years. My training suffered and when the doctor told me the damage that lifting heavy weights had done to my neck vertebrae and knees was irreparable and that I should stop lifting heavy weights, I used this as an excuse to stop all training.

My weight ballooned again and the drinking reached the stage where Val and my daughter Kaylian were preparing to leave me. I was foul and abusive to live with (No change there then LOL
) and the rows just merged into one big one that lasted for four years or so. How that woman put up with me for so long I will never know. No one would have blamed her for getting the hell out of there or kicking my fat arse out. Thank God she persevered. We have been together 36 years now.

At 37 in 1999 I decided to see if I could stop drinking for three weeks, just to see if I still could. Well at the end I had found it really easy, not once did I want a drink in that time. Val said why don’t you make it the full month and I said OK. That was eleven years ago. Not a drop has passed my lips since. Well done me.

I replaced one addiction with another and replaced booze with food. Food in huge quantities wherever I could get it. I would stop at KFC (Because chicken is healthy right?
) and eat take away on the way home from work, then twenty minutes later would eat my dinner at home. I would eat until I could not swallow any more, then shortly after I would eat some more. My main problem wasn’t the amount of food; it was that I only had one backside for it to come out of.

I contracted diabetes and high blood pressure and in 2008 ended up in hospital for two weeks on IV antibiotics for a cellulitis infection that nearly killed me, caused by you guessed it my morbid obesity.

I had previously been referred to the diabetic clinic at my local hospital and my GP and the consultant there said I should consider WLS. I was amazed, I thought only private patients got “cosmetic surgery” and that it was only for really fat people, no way did I need WLS. I said to my GP but that's only for really huge people, he smiled and said Karl you are one of those really huge people. The diabetic specialist said to me when I was in hospital "Karl if you want to be here ten years from now you must have this operation". That kind of focused my mind LOL.

I was referred to my local hospital that then put me through the various tests and assessments, and eventually I was granted funding. At my pre op check I weighed in at 400 pounds, I was appalled, ashamed, embarrassed, and determined to sort myself out.

The rest is history I guess. On a cold February morning in 2009 I was admitted to a private hospital in Cheadle, donned the paper underpants and gown and put on those sexy socks and walked down to the theatre.

I sat in the preparation room while they put the cannula in and stuck the monitor pads on my chest and sat there praying to the Gods and all that's Holy that the operation would get done. I was not afraid of dieing on the table, I figured if I did, well my worries would be over and my family would be well cared for financially. My only worry was that I would wake up and find they hadn’t done it.

It seemed to take forever for them to be ready for me, and I was just about to say look lets forget this, I actually stood up to leave when the doors opened and they said we are ready for you Karl. I walked into the chop shop, shuffled my fat ass onto the table and went to sleep.

Well I woke up sore; but alive. I had made it and I was done, whoop whoop I had made it. There was a small drama where my BP dropped to 70 over 30 but after an emergency operation to put a mainline feed in my neck that was never used, the surgeon came back in to see me in the middle of the night and said it was simply dehydration and for them to give me lots of fluid. In a short time my BP recovered and I was sent back to the ward.

An hour later the physioterrorist arrived to walk me up and down the corridor and returned every chuffin hour throughout the rest of the day. Two days later I was drinking beef broth at home, farting for England and ready to take on the world. I no longer needed to take BP or diabetes meds. My asthma has all but gone now too.

At 400lbs I was initially given a target weight of 196 pounds and a date of August 2010 to lose 204 pounds. When the Bariatric nurse Kath Rothwell said this I nearly choked. You want me to lose over half my body weight in 18 months? Are you chuffin nuts? She then told me she had lost 14 stone (196lbs) in a year post bypass by following the plan. Well if she could do it so could I, so that was my goal.

Well I achieved goal in 10 months, in fact I actually went over 30 pounds below it. So I did it with eight months to spare. Well done me. Or if I'm being honest well done Mr Ammori my surgeon because he did the hard work when I was on the table, all I've done since is hang on for the ride. And what a ride it has been.

Christmas 2009, my first post op; was an interesting time and no mistake. Normally our house looks like the staff shop at Willy Wonkers there's so many chocolate and biscuit tins stacked five high everywhere you look. The fridge is usually full of sausage rolls, dinky pork pies, scotch eggs, and every kind of cheese imaginable. Bottles of diet Pepsi or Pepsimax would be stored six feet high, and the annual fight for the candy oranges and lemons segments usually resulted in blood loss for someone.

Last year Val and my daughter Kaylian kept it all rather low key. I guess they still ate the crap I used to shovel down my neck from waking to sleep for ten days, but if they did they did it largely out of site. Nice people.

We had Val's family over for Christmas day which Val, a natural host and entertainer simply adored. I was sent out in the obligatory Christmas jumper to collect them so they could all get rat arsed on our booze LOL
. They are really great company and we had an absolute ball.

Christmas lunch was a rather sad affair for me though. I had always enjoyed a truly gut busting festival of three courses, each large enough to keep a battalion under enemy fire going for three days, so the sorry looking side plate with a slice of Turkey, half a carrot, and two sprouts, was a huge let down by comparison with the over laden mega plates everyone else wolfed down.

When desert came (Some git had brought Eaton mess with them, I'd have made the chuffers walk if I'd known they had that contraband with them LOL) I almost shed a little tear. However as they were all undoing waistbands, and complaining of feeling stuffed, I felt fantastic, unfulfilled, and cheated, but fantastic.

Boxing day (Yes I know only any Brits here will know what I'm on about, its the day after Christmas day ok?) it was our turn to visit Val's family. We loaded the car with more gifts than even Macey's could imagine and set off in the snow and ice for the other side of town.

A great day was had by all, I felt decadent enough to risk five Pringles and copied about twenty albums onto my ipod from Val's BILs library. Brilliant. I didn't get to try out the karaoke for which the family and their neighbours were very grateful and by the time we got home I'd only missed one meal.

To be honest I did that quite a lot over the holiday. Getting five meals, ten coffees, and three litres of water in each day takes from 7am to 22.00hrs on a good day, so sleeping in until 10.00am meant there was no way I could do that. The upshot of that was that I hit goal early. Then went below goal by six pounds, which try as I may I couldn’t put back on.

I got some shooting in with the new shotgun, though to be honest we scared more than we actually hit, but it was great to see the guys out and about. Happy days.

Time flies does it not? And I woke up one morning to find I was a year out. It was a hell of a ride and one I enjoyed immensely, especially the last five months or so once I’d got the first few months out of the way.

I've laughed cried, panicked, blushed, melted, hiccuped and farted my way through the first twelve months. My snotty nose had used up countless boxes of tissues, and I’ve had more sex in the last twelve months than in the last twelve years, and on some occasions there was even somebody else there LOL.

I've met some great people some who will I hope be a huge part of my life until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil. They know who they are, a couple of them are posters here. They have made my life better in ways I never dreamed of.

I had my one year assessment in February 2010 at the Spire hospital in Manchester. I'd asked to be referred away from the Manchester Royal who did my op because the aftercare had been crap to be honest, and was amazed to find my PCT had sent me to the Spire, which is a private hospital.

I hadn't seen Kath Rothwell the bariatric specialist nurse for ages as I was one of her last patients from the Manchester Royal before they lost the contract to provide WLS to another hospital. She walked right past me,
didn't recognise me. She seemed really pleased with my progress to date My BMI has gone from 61 down to 27 and I'd lost 16 stone (224lbs) in a year so all was good there. She asked me to attend the support group meetings there so she can use me as an example to the pre and newly post op patients.

She was over the moon with my stats and just kept saying I cannot believe how great you look LOL. It must have been the new Firetrap jumper I was wearing, it is rather fetching
. She said you look like someone who has never had a weight problem, I said you wouldn't say that if I were naked
Even the blood lady was surprised at my stats

The NUT however gave me a really gentle rollocking because she wanted me to stop losing weight. She said I have to eat more LOL, just how am I supposed to do that? She even threatened to prescribe protein supplements if it didn't stop by the next time I saw her. She was lovely, kept telling me to eat more calorie dense foods. You need to eat more carbs and fats, I coughed, she said I bet you never thought you'd hear me say that LOL

It just felt great to be in the hands of people who knew what they were doing rather than the bobbins aftercare I'd had through my operating hospital.

The last few months have been interesting for me for a number of reasons, not the least of which has been the realisation that I have changed so much not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. Hand in hand with the changes in my shape from huge Blubber bucket to melted candle, have gone big changes in my personality. My family have told me its like a strange man has taken my place in our house. My SO has said on a few occasions that she doesn’t recognise who I am these days. My daughter has made similar comments. My friends have also noticed a big change in me too. At first I thought that they were just nuts, but the more you hear it the more it makes you think.

If I’m being honest with myself they are right. I hardly recognise myself anymore, and I’m not talking about the somewhat nasty reflection that looks back at me when I shave, I mean my attitude and values have changed. My approach to life is somewhat different now, and I don’t yet know why. I’m not sure I ever will.

For instance I was never blessed with huge buckets of tolerance, and have never been a candidate for the diplomatic core, my ability to suffer fools gladly or otherwise to be frank was on a par with my ability to walk away from a family sized Supreme pizza from the Hut LOL. My tolerance of the Numpties out there has shrunk with each pound I’ve shed.

My weight continued to drop and I went as low as 165 pounds. It was plus or minus a couple of pounds for months. I had a follow up with my NUT in May who was a tad peeved that I hadn’t regained the eight pounds she told me I needed to gain back in Feb. I was actually four pounds lighter than when she saw me last.

She gave me a rollicking for a while about not eating enough then said "Karl I need you to work with me here, I need you to gain twelve pounds please. She said if you take into account the twenty pounds of skin you no longer need you would be around 150 pounds and that is unhealthy for a guy your size. Your body fat percentage at 8.5% is bordering on unhealthy and I need you to sort it out". “OK Jenny just how am I going to do that?” She toddled off to a fridge brought me four small bottles of what can only be described as strawberry flavoured cooking oil, and said "drink this four times a day until I tell you to stop".

It tasted like the wringing out from a Turkish wrestlers jockstrap to be honest, and to say it goes through me faster than I used to get through a 14 inch double Pepperoni and garlic bread with cheese is an understatement. I stuck with it for a while then when it clogged up my bowels and put me in hospital I decided to give it a miss.

My blood test results from February however were absolutely fantastic. I hit the optimum score on every test. Jenny said I know you’re not eating enough, but what you are eating is bang on the money. She reckons I wont need a B12 shot for at least two years and that my previous renal scare seems to have sorted itself out. My BF% was 8.5% and that’s her only concern. Ho hum.

I switched training from toning to mass building and the forty eight quid’s worth of protein shakes should help me to get the muscle size I’m looking for. I have also been attending three Spin classes each week. Val said I should take some pictures of me in my boxers and use them as a comparison as I get bigger. Maybe I will, though I still find it hard to take disrobed pictures of me seriously. Val said I might fill my skin out a bit, I said sure if you plug and airline in my arse LOL.

I have also realised that I am a shopping junky. I have more shirts and jeans etc than I could wear in two lifetimes, yet still feel the need to buy stuff almost every week. Transfer addiction I guess. But that’s a story for another day is it not.

We've just come back from a week in Ibiza and had a great time. The flights are now no longer something I hate as the awful orange expander belts are no longer needed, and we can do so much more these days. The restaurant was up on the eighth floor and often we'd run up there rather than take the lift, just because we could.

I go to the gym six days a week three spin classes and three heavy weight training sessions, and on my day off I ride my road bike for anything up to 44 miles. If my knees were ok rather than goosed nothing would stop me.

I've upped my meals to ten some days and protein is over 120g a day now. This is having an effect at last, my body fat percentage is still below 10% but my weight has increased to 174 lbs, so my musculature is getting better. My strength increasing every week so that's great news, though seeing the scales increasing after trying so hard to lose the weight, is a little disconcerting

So a long and rambling tale of woe then rebirth, then joy tinged with a little nervousness about the future. My only regret is not doing it years ago.

Credit to you if you are still reading this, your fortitude is better than mine. If you did just skip to the end you haven’t missed too much trust me
I would have to disagree with you...who didn't read all of it, would be missing a pretty great story.

Its amazing that you and your wife found each other at such a young age. True love indeed.

but oh my, you sure do work out a lot now. Do you enjoy working out that much or do you just push yourself to it?
You were right honey xxx
Fantastic read and massive congrats, very inspirational, did you ever have to have a op to get rid of loose skin or did weight training do the trick?
There is some skin but at 49 I'm not going to worry about it mate