Jason Diprose is a personal trainer from York. Unlike many in the fitness industry he knows exactly what it feels like to be fat and unhealthy. Before launching a health programme for YorkMix readers, Jason tells his story
Before entering the health and fitness industry I was a chronically overweight teenager. By the age of 18, I weighed 21 stone. As a teen, I was isolated, depressed, incredibly unfit, and entirely lacking the motivation needed to take action against my current situation; I fell into a vicious circle of the worst kind – and almost stayed there for good.
It got so bad that I had heart palpitations just walking up stairs, and even turned to drink to console myself during my early college years while still consuming copious amounts of junk food and living a completely sedentary lifestyle.
One day I woke up and decided I had to take action; I was going nowhere in life and I was well-aware of the dire state of health I was in. It was simply a case of doing something or facing an early grave, and at 18 I wasn’t ready to give up.
I studied nutrition and exercise, focusing on healthy eating and effective exercise routines pieced together through hours of reading online forums and magazines. Between 2007 and 2008 I achieved a total weight loss of 10 stone.
Unfortunately, after reaching my target weight of 11 and a half stone, I battled with an exercise and eating disorder that proved more difficult to overcome than my weight loss was. Luckily with support from my friends and family I was able to pull through safely and exercise my way to the muscular, toned physique I had always wanted since being a young child.
After my own transformation I know how difficult it is to get into shape safely and healthily – I’ve been there and done it all. I’ve been obese, skinny, unfit, unhealthy, de-motivated, lacking in energy and strength.
And I’ve certainly been confused, afraid and daunted by the endless wealth of often conflicting information available on exercise and nutrition in general.
Now that I’m on the “other-side” I’ve salvaged the useful bits and I’m now able to give no-nonsense and effective advice to others.
Obesity is the world’s largest health epidemic. Its cure comes from within the people it affects. There are millions of strong, talented charismatic and beautiful people with weight issues around the world today.
There are also millions of depressed, isolated, unfulfilled and socially downtrodden victims who haven’t found those innate assets yet; the saddest thing in the world for me is the possibility that they might never find them.
I could easily have been one of the tens of millions of people who currently fall into that category forever; all I needed to do was decide to roll over on the day I got up and took positive action and everything would have been completely different – I’d rather not know how many people did that this morning.
As a personal trainer I’ve been able to give people a helping hand to climb out of that pit.
My story shows everyone can change. The day you decide to make the most of your own health and fitness is the day you lead those closest to you down the same path. It’s the day you start to break through the defences created by greed, ignorance and social cruelty.
We all have a hand in the game of the future; it’s just a question of whether or not we choose to play it.
I’ll be posting a regular fitness column on YorkMix full of ideas and tips to help you become slimmer and healthier. Why not join me?
- Jason Diprose is co-founder of FightBody, a weight loss and fitness programme at the One Club in York. It is a 30-minute class exercise programme designed to give participants a toned, honed and fit physique.
- One Club can be found at: Pioneer Business Park, Clifton Moor, York, YO30 4TN. To find out more, visit the Fight Body website.