I initially thought about weight loss surgery about a year before I contacted the clinic. I have had issues with my weight since my teens and have lost weight on several occasions and put it back on sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly but I have never managed to sustain what I believe to be a healthy weight. I knew that I had to find a way to improve my chances of losing weight and maintaining the loss. I had seen various articles in magazines, newspapers about weight loss surgery but initially was not sure that it was an option for someone like me. I did some further research on the internet looking into potential weight loss surgery options including possible side effects before I approached the clinic for an initial consultation.
My concerns prior to the consultation were mainly around the amount of time that I would need to be off work, how I would manage food afterwards, how the surgery would affect life in general – life in many ways revolves around food- meetings, dinners, lunches and coffee breaks and I wanted to be sure that I was not going to have to lead the life of a recluse trying to avoid social events.
At the first consultation things were very relaxed, there was no pressure to make a decision. My questions were all answered without unnecessary jargon and it was made clear that there was the option to call or make further appointments before any decisions were made on my part. Once I had made the decision to go ahead with the surgery the pre-operative assessment was very efficient and professional. The staff were all friendly – the decision to go ahead with the surgery was not a simple one and they explained the different parts of the procedure helping to confirm that I had made the correct decision for me.
The day of the surgery everything was very calm, the nursing staff were reassuring and explained what was going to happen. I don’t think I fully appreciated how battered and bruised I would feel immediately afterwards – moving around initially was uncomfortable rather than painful and the first week post surgery was a bit of a battle between tiredness and making myself physically get up and move around but after that life returned to a new type of normal.
I haven’t told anyone other than my husband, sister and one friend that I have had the surgery, the decision to have surgery was mine to make and I did not want to have everyone else’s comments (positive or negative) and judgements affecting the outcome. My weight loss has been steady rather than dramatic so there have been fewer questions about how I have managed to lose weight but there have been positive comments from friends and colleagues about how well I look and in myself I feel much more comfortable in my own skin. I have more weight to lose but I don’t think I had truly realised how much my weight was limiting what I could do and what I wanted to do. I can paint my toe nails again, I am not worrying about how I’m going to survive sitting in a seat on the flight to my summer holiday and have booked up to take part in activities that I wouldn’t have done before in fear of being too close to or over the weight limit. As for eating – yes I have to be careful about what I eat and when I eat, but I have not had any problems with food which is one of the things you are warned about. My worries about my social life being over haven’t come to pass but pay attention to the advice about alcohol – not only is it calories with no nutritional value, I ended up drunk on 2 glasses of wine and had a hangover for 2 days.
No matter what other people may think this is not the easy answer you still have to work hard to get the results, you can cheat, you can eat the wrong food and you can still gain weight but If I went back in time would I still make the same decision – yes.