I cannot remember a time growing up when I was not severely overweight.
My last year of junior school was the first time my weight really became an issue for me as this was the year our swimming classes began. Our school had an outside swimming pool with wooden changing huts running the length of one side of the pool.
The whole week would be a worry about getting undressed and into my swimming trunks in front of my friends. I would be the last out of the changing huts but this tactic did not work. The teacher would have the rest of the class lined up on the side of the pool and only when all was present could we then get into the water.
This was in 1970 and at 10 years of age and 4 stone plus overweight, I was by far the largest child in my year. However, being overweight did not stop me from enjoying sport and I would regularly represent the school at football.
Moving on to secondary school is usually a traumatic experience and for me, it was made worse by teasing from older boys and bullying by the teachers due to my size.
I was never one for sharing my worries so I would keep my school problems to myself and seek solace in food and fizzy drinks when I got home from school.
Living in a seaside resort there was usually opportunities to make a little bit of cash by returning beer bottles to off licences for their deposit money. Another handy source of income was scouring the many amusement arcades for money that fallen out of machines or left behind by visitors.
This money would usually be sufficient to keep me in sweets, fizzy drinks and cakes throughout the week.