Working at a GP Practice as a receptionist and helping people give up smoking, 43 year old Alison was living a life of denial. Having been told by the NHS that she wasn’t ‘fat enough’ for them to consider surgery, it took her 21 year-old son Adam and his girlfriend to help research the potential of the Healthier Weight clinic before Alison took the tentative steps to having a gastric band fitted.
Armed with the facts from her research and confirmed by discussion with her medical colleagues, Alison realised that she had to act soon. Weighing in at just under 13 stone the diminutive mum of four, measuring up to only 4ft 11inches, knew that high blood pressure combined with comfort eating was a dangerous and potentially lethal combination to continue. Years of yo-yoing with her weight and attempts at diets and other regimes had ultimately ended with failure and had meant that Alison had “virtually given up on myself to the extent where I was constantly depressed and embarrassed to be seen by anyone.”
She explained: “Having done research on the web, with the help of my eldest son, I was convinced that surgery was my only option. My biggest problem was my husband Pete who was worried about the risks associated with any surgery, although he acknowledged that it seemed safer than many other routine procedures. I finally won him round by admitting how ashamed I was for him to be seen with me in public.
“He loved me as I was, but I didn’t love me, in fact I loathed myself. Working in a GP surgery I hated walking through the waiting room for fear that people would stare at me. So I managed to convince him to let me book a consultation.”
Alison nervously walked into The Healthier Weight Clinic’s Edgbaston HQ. Medical Director Dr David Ashton explained what options were available and that she would indeed be a good candidate for a gastric band; meanwhile Pete was able to ask questions and all agreed that Alison could go ahead with surgery which subsequently took place at Solihull Parkway Hospital.
In just two weeks post surgery, Alison lost 12 pounds and by Christmas 2009 she was a size 16 and her confidence was returning.
By February she had lost two and a half stone and now she weighs nine stone having lost four stone. Bolstered by her newly found confidence she is now able, in her words, to “love herself” and is planning to run her own Smoking Cessation clinics.
“I am happy on the inside and out, I am confident and no longer worry about walking through the waiting room! As for clothes shopping, I LOVE it. Picking up a size 12 gives me a real thrill and I hope I will soon be buying a size 10.
Husband Pete added: “I admit I was apprehensive before I was advised of the facts, but now I can’t believe how healthy and transformed Alison looks and feels.”
“Choosing to have a Gastric Band is the best decision I have ever made and I would recommend it to anyone. The Gastric Band and Healthier Weight Team have given me my life back and I couldn’t be happier”
Alison (March 2011)