Interview with Harrison Wright – National child health influencer and Wellity ambassador

Harrison you are 14 years old and on a journey towards a healthy, happier life by eating healthily, exercising and getting active. Your journey started when you received an NCMP letter from your school and since then it’s become a bit of a mission for you to encourage as many other kids (and adults) as you can, to join you and start their own journeys – and that’s why we would like to interview you.

Because of your strong values and influence you are now a huge role model to children. We would like to find out more about you and how children can follow in your footsteps and get healthy: The full interview is below Harrisons’ photographs.

Our Interview with Harrison…

Q: How did your journey start? What was the trigger that other children might relate to?

A: My journey began about 4 years ago when I was weighed in year 6 at Primary school. My mom received a letter home saying that I was overweight. There were numbers to call to get help. My mom followed what was suggested and we met with someone from a company called My Time active who help with people being overweight. At this point, we had already made changes to our lifestyle and eating habits. Mom did some online studying on nutrition and had contacted her friend named Chris who owned a gym and I started having one on ones with him. The advice given by My Time active wasn’t helpful. No fitness classes for me – so I’m glad mom did what she did. We were not happy with the “none” help we received and thought there must be other families out there suffering! So we decided to document my journey to a healthier life on Instagram. I hoped this would help kids and parents who also received these letters from their schools.

Q: Was it hard to get started?

A: At first it was all new, the exercise and the food, but after a few weeks the novelty wore off and that’s when it got hard. I had to keep thinking that this had to happen, it was a lifestyle change, I couldn’t go back to what I was doing. I wanted a happy and healthy future.

Q: Were there any low points when you thought about giving up?

A: Low points? Yes, lots of them! When I first started my fitness and I was a lot younger, I got upset when I couldn’t do things – I got really frustrated! I wanted to eat what all my mates were eating at school, but I knew I couldn’t. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a few naughty things here and there, but just not all the time.

Q: Is it hard to motivate yourself when there are so many temptations for you and your friends?

A: I find it so hard every day because there is temptation everywhere. Walking to and home from school, all my friends go to the shop and buy sweets and fizzy drinks. I can have sweets just in moderation, that’s what I live by. I enjoy exercise more now than I used to, but there is temptation with my Xbox just to stay at home. It’s mom that has a good talk to me and reminds me how I feel after I’ve exercised – really good!

Q: What feeling does it give you to know that you are helping others?

A: It’s an amazing felling knowing that I am helping all these people but even helping one person is enough for me. Words can’t describe the feeling that I get when I get a message off one person who asks for help or advice … that’s the only reward I need.

Q: Would you ever consider doing some exercise videos to help school children understand the benefits of exercise?

A: I would love it if I could do exercise videos to give to schools because P.E is so crucial and it also benefits kids’ concentration levels in school which can provide better grades.

Q: Are you nervous doing public appearances? How do you feel?

A: It’s so amazing when I get asked to make a public appearance and I feel honoured to be able to tell all these people my experiences and of course I get nervous though, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. Just take deep breaths and tell people about my life and what happened to me and what I’ve done.

Q: What are the benefits to you of your new lifestyle?

A: There are countless benefits to my new lifestyle. I’m so much fitter and healthier and I feel better in myself. I’m a lot more confident to do more with my life since i started my journey. When I exercise it changes my mood – so for the benefit of my mental health, exercise is key for me. Doing this journey has actually made me want to study GCSE PE at school. I never would have done that!

Q: What advice would you give others considering getting more active?

A: I would tell them to talk to someone and not to do it by yourself because it is much easier if you do it with someone you trust so you can motivate each other. It is hard to start with and the secret is to carry on, even if you have a bad day – don’t let it be a bad week.

Q: Do you have any suggestions on how the government could help you and Wellity make a bigger difference to the health of the nation?

A: Obesity is costing the NHS a lot of money at the moment. I think tackling this issue at a young age will help solve some of the problem. Educating kids, when they are younger, on nutrition and making it part of school life. PE is very small in primary schools and it’s the thing that suffers if budgets are cut. Core subject are important but if we start dying at a younger age because we are overweight and not fit then we will have no need for the core subjects! Bit dramatic I know but kids should be more active in school and more money needs to be put into this. The “fat letter” that is sent by the NHS in 1st year of primary school and last year – work needs done on this, along with after care. Parents need educating too. If young kids are taught nutrition, when it comes to their time to have kids, we should have a fitter healthier nation.

Q: We are so glad that you are a Wellity ambassador, thank you – what does it mean to you?

A: It is an honour to be asked to be a Wellity ambassador. I believe I am an example of what Wellity represents, encouraging and inspiring other people to feel good and look good by living a happy healthy lifestyle. I would be proud to wear my three triangles.

I think we can all make a difference by just trying to help each other, educate each other and join forces …. and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Thank you so much Harrison, you are such a great role model.