It's now over a year since the gastric band was fitted and I have almost reached my goal. The last three pounds are in sight and soon I will be rated as ‘normal’ on that illusive NHS chart.
I have always been a lover of food – much to my detriment over the years. The earliest weigh in I can remember was during secondary school, categorised as morbidly obese with 44-inch chest and 44-inch waist at the age of 15. When the scales hit 17 stone, with a stay in hospital for extremely high blood pressure, coupled with the embarrassment of buying XXL clothes as a teen, I knew the comfort eating had become uncontrollable.
I did the usual – diet and exercise, then more diets, then more exercise. Year after year the same routine, constantly yo-yoing up and down until I hit 22 stone, and the misery of those years will never leave me. I never ate too many junk foods though – the fatty foods were never my problem. It was always portion control. ‘Dark season’, my term for those cold winter months was the worst – hoarding food but never having the inclination to brave the weather and head to the gym. Then the summer would come. I would resume the usual diet and exercise until, for many years, I hovered around sixteen stone. Up until the age of 35 I kept battling to lose weight, paying thousands for gym memberships, personal trainers and knowing the calorie content of almost every food on the planet. When my father was diagnosed with diabetes and heart disease it prompted me to take stock of my life and how unnaturally obsessive I had become over my weight and appearance.
In May 2016, I had the gastric band fitted. My starting weight was just under sixteen stone. Heathier Weight led me through the process, from the start they knew my goal and supported me every step of the way. After the operation, I had a new lease of life. I can eat a variety of foods – healthy with that odd treat but now everything is in moderation. I had a few band fills over the year to find my ideal restriction but the after care of the Healthier Weight team has been matchless. I feel satisfied physically and am not looking for seconds or thirds of a meal and emotionally content – weighing myself less and less. ‘Dark season’ is over and my main aim now is to tone up muscles I never knew existed!
My only regret is that I never had the band fitted sooner!