An open letter to the NHS & Jeremy Hunt
Readers of my blog http://39stonecyclist.com know that I am someone who REALLY wants to make a difference to people in the world who are suffering from obesity or eating disorders.
For new readers, I’ll be quick, I was 39 stones (546 Ibs), I cycled to work I DIDN’T have a weight loss operation, I am now 13 stones (182 Ibs), I was on TV for the removal of excess skin as the NHS wouldn’t fund it, I am now an Anti Obesity Crusader.
I am always happy to tell people that over and over again in the hope that the next time I do it will save someone’s life, in the fashion that I saved my own.
It’s been 4 and a half years since I started my own journey, I have been through a lot in that time.
Two and a half years were spent losing the weight, there were accidents, weight gain, broken bikes, broken dreams (albeit only temporarily ), battles, tears, joy, being at rock bottom, building myself back up.
For the last 2 years, I have kept a stable weight of between 13 and 14 stones, there have been eating disorders and not just my Selective Eating Disorder, accidents (a theme maybe). After the rebuilding came the adding of polish, becoming a more than accomplished cyclist, public speaker and multi award winner.
But through it all, I kept grounded and humble, people tell me all the time how much of an inspiration I am, but I don’t get carried away. I’m more than aware I’m just a former fat bloke from up north with all of the usual failings, faults and issues that everyone else faces in a day to day battle with modern life. It’s just that one day I fell in love with the humble bicycle, I set up a blog to keep myself going, that then turned into a blog to keep myself on the straight and narrow by helping others. But it’s nothing no-one else couldn’t do with a bit of planning, thought, application and a bit of good old fashioned will power.
Last year I contacted the Government, The Shadow Health Secretary, The actual Health Secretary and the Department of Health, I pointed out my story, not for personal gain, but to simply say that the NHS needs to look at prevention, needs to look at other ways of beating obesity, throwing Weight Loss Surgery at someone as soon as they walk through the door DOESN’T WORK, Sadly my offer to help was met with a DEADLY SILENCE, so I guess I now have nothing to lose with an open letter.
I was approved for the surgery and the first thing I did was research EVERYTHING about it, the risk, the reward, the success rate etc etc.
That lead me to one place, Obesityhelp.com, an American portal for everything obese, be it Gastric Bands, Bypass, Duodenal Switch or my method, the only thing we ALL had in common was a desire to get better, a desire to no longer be morbidly obese.
I signed up, I was in the minority, being English, I had to learn to talk in Pounds not Stones, I had to learn a WHOLE new culture but to be honest, it was so immersive that it worked, I found out REALLY quickly that being successful wasn’t down to what operation you had.
For it was easy to “Cheat” any of the Weight Loss Surgeries.
The ONE thing every successful person on that site had in common was that they used the tools they were given and worked hard.
The tools could have been Surgery, or like me, a bike and a bit of inspiration.
The other tool everyone needed was their head, for obesity is a MENTAL HEALTH problem and until you fix what makes you over eat, an operation or a bike or whatever, won’t help you in the long run.
THAT I BELIEVE IS THE REASON for the 5% stat. Only 5% of morbidly obese people lose weight naturally and keep the weight off.
So why are the NHS still trying to fix mental health issues with physical operations?
I believe I have the key to that; it’s simply a lack of understanding.
I offered the Government et al the keys to fixing the pandemic that is sweeping the nation, I as one man can’t fix it, but put me in the right place, with the right access, responsibilities and funding and obesity rates WILL stabilise , stagnate then REDUCE.
Sure it’s a bold claim, but I have lived it, I know the mind of someone who has been SUPER SUPER MORBIDLY OBESE.
The way we fix this is by getting SMARTER, by starting with prevention and then by motivating people to put right the CAUSE of the obesity they are suffering from before we even attempt to think about looking at what that obesity has caused.
If you fix the cause, you fix all the co-morbidity issues and there is also a reduced need for things such as excess skin removal etc, honestly, all we need to do here is be much smarter.
So, NHS, Government, Mr Hunt, Or any Private Healthcare Provider, if you REALLY want to stop this ticking time bomb, I’m available on firstname.lastname@example.org , I cant change the problem on my own as one lone voice, but I want to make a REAL difference in this world, I know its achievable, all I need is your backing. If you want this problem fixing, I’ll await your contact.
End of letter.
But Dear Reader, you can help too.
The link below is an online form to the Department of Health. Copy and paste the above letter onto the online form and click Submit.
Do the same with the Jeremy Hunt The Secretary of State for Health at email@example.com
And Andy Burnham the Shadow Secretary of State for Health at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also you can find your own MP’s email address here: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ whack in your Post Code and that will bring up your own MP and contact details. Email them this letter too.
This is not a Party Political Issue even though it is a Political Issue, hence the cross party emails.
For my readers across the world, please bombard your political representatives with my letter above. Every little helps.
As we all know, the only thing Politicians are interested in is weight of numbers in an issue and votes, so please take the trouble to do this!
Let me know via the comments section of my Blog if you do take the trouble to let our leaders know that we want change and we can help!
You’re all brilliant supporters and I know that you are all fighting your own fight pretty much with your own will power or a small circle of supporters or through blogging. Just think what WE could achieve if we had a Global change in attitude!
As Margaret Mead famously said
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Thanks for reading,