My name is Rosh.  I’m 48 years old and have been a London Cabby for 4 years.

I’ve always struggled with my weight as far as I can remember.  I don’t actually know why I’ve always been a bit on the chubby side because all of my family are fit and healthy.  My dad, in his seventies, still plays tennis twice a week and can easily beat me at a game.  In fact, I cannot play a game of tennis without stopping a dozen times for a rest.  I’m certainly the odd one out in my family and it’s embarrassing. I have a beautiful 19 year old daughter and it would be lovely to go shopping with her day and for her to say”come on Dad, let’s go in that nice shop and get you a shirt which doesn’t double up as a two man tent”.

As the years have ticked by, I’ve developed Type 2 diabetes, I’m a smoker of 30 years and I have high cholesterol. I don’t exactly tick many wonderful boxes.

If there is a stereotype of a walking heart attack, I am it.

Early September, I was talking to my sister Rhea about my situation.  She’s a nutritionist and is constantly telling me about food and what is good and what is bad.  Has that stopped me shovelling half a ton of rubbish down my gob daily?  No.  It hasn’t.  So she said to me, look, you’ve tried lots of ways to lose weight in the past.  Nothing has worked and you’ve only had limited success.  This is probably due to fact that I’ve showed very little commitment to anything weight related in the past.  So, she said, let’s set you a challenge.  Climb Mount Kilimanjaro!  I said, how will 20 stones of fat get to the top of Kilimanjaro?  Rhea explained to me that if I set myself a massive goal like this in 12 months time, that might, just might help me lose the weight, get fit and will probably add years into my life.  She asked whether I wanted to die a slow and painful death?  That’s what I’m on course for right now.  The idea was sold to me in minutes and I went away thinking about it all day.  Although I loved the idea, I didn’t want to do it by myself. I’m not shy or anything.  I just like going through the whole process of losing weight and getting fit with someone else.  Or, a few other people.

I then wondered if any other Cabbies would want to do this challenge with me.  So I took to Twitter and asked. My phone literally went into meltdown – mainly from other Cabbies taking the mick, as Cabbies do!  But what emerged was a group of cabbie that were equally excited, positive and FAT!  We formed a group which is affectionately known as the “Fat Cabbies” and we started formulating a plan.

This is it.  If I don’t do this now, I will never do it.  This HAS to work for me and I’m quietly confident about the whole thing.  A fantastic support network has been created and I’m so excited about this project.  The other fellas in the group are a smashing group and together, I really believe we can do this.  I’m so passionate about it.

I don’t want to die yet.  I’ve experienced tragedy in my family and have seen my parents lose a son in awful circumstances.  I don’t want them to ever go through that again.

My lovely brother Suresh was taken from this world far too early and I will take some of his ashes to the summit of Kili.  I know he’s in heaven now and I want some of him to be closer to his beautiful soul.

The biggest mountain for me is not Kilimanjaro.  It’s losing 5-6 stones.  It’s giving up smoking.  It’s lowering my cholesterol and it’s reversing my diabetes.

If I can do it, anyone can.
Be lucky.  Rosh.

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