Lockdown with a gastric sleeve: Sarah’s story

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COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, and now, we are at the beginning of a second national lockdown. Statistics show that nearly one-third of the UK population put weight on during the first lockdown which started in March 2020, and many people will be worrying that the same will happen this time around. But what is lockdown life like for those who have had weight loss surgery?

Sarah had a gastric sleeve with Healthier Weight in 2018. Since then, she has lost 8st 5Ibs and has been able to pursue her dream of becoming a police officer! Here, she shares a first-person account of how she kept her weight loss journey on track during lockdown.

Image of Healthier Weight success story Sarah before and after having gastric sleeve surgery
Sarah before and after her gastric sleeve surgery

How my Diet changed during lockdown

Lockdown has absolutely forced me to change my diet; for the better. We were eating home-cooked family meals every night, it really bought us together. It’s been the first time my son has noticed my smaller portions. He just laughs it off as “mums little dinners” which is the norm now! We have less waste than before as I know exactly how much we all eat. If we have steak, I only buy 2: one for my husband then one for me and the children. I was overfeeding everyone before my surgery, now we’re all eating much better-sized portions.

“You get so stuck in a rut thinking, this is it, this is me now, when actually, it doesn’t have to be!”

Read Sarah’s original success story from September 2019

Lockdown has helped me reassess what I’m eating and what I’m feeding my family. I’ve had more time to prepare meals and made sure we’re all eating healthily. I have still been having my treats in the evening when the children go to bed. Instead of having 3 or 4 packets of crisps, I just stick to the one. I’m in control of what I eat and not once have I felt deprived.

Exercising and mental health during lockdown

Walking was never in my vocabulary before my surgery. I would’ve been a recluse in my house for the entirety of lockdown pre-surgery. Too tired and too lazy to get outside. We went on many family walks and adventures. We’re lucky to live by the sea so we made full use of that over lockdown. This would’ve been something I missed out on when I was larger, but as I have previously noted – it means I’m a part of my family and not missing out.

The most mentally challenging aspect of lockdown has been not having any ‘me time’. My son is at school 5 days a week and my daughter attends preschool twice, so I was always guaranteed 2 days a week to recharge my batteries (even if it was just to catch up on housework). I found it very difficult having them always right there. I would’ve comfort eaten before and it would have added to my weight gain. I would have most definitely put on a lot of weight in lockdown but thanks to my sleeve, I have managed to stay the same.

Out and about: enjoying life with a gastric sleeve

Advice to anyone thinking of having weight loss surgery

I’d say research which procedure is best for you and go for it. I have a whole new lease on life, I’ve honestly never been happier or more confident. You won’t regret it!

[After your procedure], write up a food plan before going food shopping, then write the list according to what you plan to cook. That way, no little impulse buys can sneak their way into the trolley. You’re buying exactly what you need and nothing more for the week ahead.

I’ve not looked too much into the studies on the relationship between Covid and obesity, but speaking for myself I can say I’ve not been ill once since I’ve had my surgery. Even when the children get poorly from things they pick up from school, I’ve not ended up with it like I used to.

New opportunities

My surgery has opened so many doors for me. I’ve joined a gym and don’t feel self-conscious going in. It felt so good to tell my personal trainer that I didn’t want to lose weight, just tone up. I have a fantastic goal in sight as I’ve been successful in getting an interview to work for the Hampshire Constabulary.

Being a Police Officer and then a Detective has been a lifelong dream of mine. I never had the confidence to apply because my BMI was far too high. They ask for your BMI to be under 29 and at 22, I’m well below what they’re asking for! My operation and weight loss has enabled me to follow my dream. I can’t recommend weight loss surgery enough!

Written by Sarah 04.11.2020

If you’re thinking of having weight loss surgery but aren’t sure which procedure is right for you, why not call the Healthier Weight team on 0800 313 4618 to get some information on the surgical and non-surgical treatment options available to you, or click the button below to get a quote.

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