Patient Stories

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A lifetime challenge into a journey of perseverance and growth.

I have been overweight, actually morbidly obese, for most of my adult life. I have yo-yo dieted for most of that time and had tried every possible weight loss option without success – Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Sure Slim amongst others. And even when I had success with some of those, the weight always came back.

I know of people over the years that had a lap band, but to be honest, everyone I knew that had that weight loss option had success initially but either regained their weight or had complications so that wasn’t something I wanted to consider.

Then I met someone who had had gastric sleeve surgery and had success. Then I met another person, and another, and another. It appeared that this was a successful option and it sparked my interest. I started to think that this might be a positive solution for me.

I discussed my weight loss efforts over the years with my bariatric dietitian and mentioned how every time I was successful I always put the weight back on. I don’t remember her exact words or the exact percentage she gave me but it was something like: “the percentage of morbidly obese people who have success with weight loss and then manage to successfully keep that weight off is something like 5%”. And that was the statement that made me believe that surgery was the answer for me.

My story …

I have struggled with excess weight since I was a young child. I have been on diets all my life. I have had good success during key points, but as my life got busier, children came along, my career got more complex and I was getting older, I could not sustain commercial diets. I knew I was getting bigger and bigger and risks to my health were getting higher each day. I felt I needed a “kick” start and something that would help me sustain my commitment to a new lifestyle. My obstetrician suggested I consider surgery after the birth of my first child. It took me 10 years to make the decision to have the surgery at the time I had it.

To prepare for surgery I was determined to lose as much weight as possible to make the surgery as safe as I could. That was my focus. For anyone who is thinking about having surgery know that it’s worth it. I wish I had done it sooner. I love my smaller stomach – it is a physical barrier for over-eating and I really appreciate the flavours of food so much more now.

My story too …

My weight loss journey started many years ago, however perusing the idea of surgery started last year after speaking with a friend who was knowledgeable in the area. I asked what her thoughts were, and she said that it was a reasonably safe operation and the research on long term outcomes was looking very favourable.

So I started to do my research, and found a good surgeon. I spoke to my GP and although she did not object to referring me told me that all I needed to do was to eat more vegetables “that grow above the ground” and practice intermittent fasting. That would cure my weight issue. Although I appreciate that my GP thought she was being helpful, I found it patronising. If it was as easy as she said, then why had I struggled for so many years? I didn’t feel like my GP was up to date on the advances in weight loss surgery, or the long term results that it was getting.


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