So I’m not sure that I’ve written about me before other than in the peripherals. So here is it, My weight loss journey.
I am (as you can see by my photos) larger than I should be. For me weight has always been an issue. Even since I was very young.
I think a lot of my issues around my weight come from when I was a child. In Primary school I was picked up on the health screening as being above the “norms” with my weight. I was referred to a childhood dietitian which I went frequently and was continuously told I was too big, too fat, nothing I was doing was working etc. Enforced weight loss through restrictive dieting were implemented at a young age.
I remember it being in a dusty and smelling musty and old. Like an old fashioned doctors office, it was dark and had old far solid wood furniture. Being weighed, and measured, and then told that the hard work wasn’t enough. I mean what did they want? Blood? I played football regularly, I did martial arts, I skated and ran and did all sorts of other stuff. I was just fat. My diet was good, I didn’t snack on bad stuff, it was just how my body was.
After that I slid into my teens and was still big. I wasn’t abnormally large or anything, just a bit chunky. It made me shy and awkward. People always said it was just puppy fat and I would grow out of it.
In my mid teens I shed a lot of weight, not because of puberty because it didn’t start until after this but because of all of the stresses of coming out and the repercussions of that. I’ve written a bit about that before, which you can read here if you like.
At 19 I met T. We quickly fell into a habit of complacency and eating out a lot. Even with the kids.
At my heaviest I think I was in excess of 20 stone. I was wearing a mens 46” trousers and I could not fit on the rides at theme parks. Also, I struggled to move and maintain my weight at those heavier weights. I just kept getting bigger and bigger. I felt like utter rubbish and I honestly think it contributed so much to my mental health. Alternative weight loss methods had just been useless.
In 2014 I sought help from my GP. I had done weight watchers, Atkins, slim fast, and any other faddy diet going, to no avail. It was hard keeping to it when nobody else in the house wanted to change their ways either. The referral to tier 4 weight management came with the condition that I attended some really useful groups with other people in the same boat as me. We had access to bariatric dieticians and saw these regularly after the group had ended.
I was then referred to a surgeon. We explored my options which were a Band, Bypass or a sleeve. Weight loss surgery was ultimately my decision tho, and I often for a sleeve.
I then heard nothing after my initial appointment at the end of 2016.
Then it happened!
I got a call on 14th February 2019 to ask me to attend a pre surgery appointment on the following Friday, and would I be ok to have my surgery on 7th March. I didn’t have much time to think about it. It had been a big decision initially and then all of a sudden short notice. I had a lot of arrangements to make.
Work were ok about me having the time off and let me take it as 2 weeks paid holiday. Vikki was great about it too, we’d only been together for a short period of time and I didn’t want to put on her.
It was weird going into it in my situation, as my circumstances had changed dramatically since I applied for it, I mean I was in a committed relationship, living at home with my partner and kids. Then I was living alone with a limited support network.
It was kind of short notice and I didn’t really have an opportunity to say no!
I had a bit of a wobble a few days before the surgery; Because had been on a special diet leading up to the booking in day and all I could have was milk and salad. For this specific LRD you are supposed to have 2-3 pints of milk a day, and as someone who loved milk prior to this, it’s put me right off! Vikki and I were walking around bluewater shopping centre and I just wanted a TGI fridays. My favourite place to eat there. I knew it’d be the last time for a long time I could have it. So I threw a bit of a strop and Vik gave in! She is my voice of reason, and usually talks me out of stuff like this, or my impulsive decisions. But I think she could see how much I was struggling that day.
The day of the surgery rolled round really quickly. I’d had a few doubts running up to it, which I think is pretty normal. I was scared it was going to fail, like all of the other intervention I had had for my weight in the past. I didn’t think it would work, I was full of doubt. And frightened I wouldn’t be able to eat anything ever again! I also thought that I might die, obese people have a much higher chance of dieing under general anaesthetic.
Surgery day came, and Vikki and I went to the hospital. Honestly I don’t think I deserve this girl. She made a big fuss of me and didn’t leave my side.
I was supposed to go down early but actually didn’t have my surgery until the afternoon. A nurse said I could keep my pants on, but the anaesthetist made me wear the horrible see through paper ones. Vikki found this hilarious, I did not!
When I came back I was very groggy and in a lot of pain and discomfort. I don’t remember much of the rest of the day, other than Vikki being amazing and soooooo supportive.
The next day I was allowed to go home after the physio had assessed that I was ok and all of my obs had been taken.
Mum and dad picked me up, and dropped me back to my flat. And later that evening Vikki came over.
Now I’m not going to give you a blow by blow of the rest of it. My weight loss in the next few weeks was on and off, mainly on.
My recovery wasn’t all butterflies and glitter!
Around 5 weeks post op I got really down. I was frustrated that I couldn’t eat, the pain had gone from the site, but not from swallowing. It made me soo down because I was not having a good time eating purée. I couldn’t stomach it and I also hadn’t had any intervention from the post surgery bariatric nurses. I didn’t know what I should be eating, or how much. How often I should be eating was also an issue because I never felt full. I decided I was going to start solids a bit early, because the purée just wasn’t working for me. Listening to my body and introducing solids back in early was probably the best thing I could do. I felt a lot better in myself and also about my food intake as soon as I was back onto real food.
So now I am 5 months post op, I’ve lost 5 stone so far, and I’m still on the down. I now fit into a ladies size 16 quite comfortably for the first time in over 10 years.
If you were to ask me if I was happy with the results, i would tell you to ask me again in 6 months.
Would I do it again? Definitely.
Here are my before weight loss surgery and after surgery photos