Life before weight loss surgery for Frances was entirely different. She used to be the woman that shied away from the fun, stayed on the sidelines, holding the coats and bags and not showing her real potential to live life to the fullest. But then, Frances had an awakening moment and realised that being morbidly obese was taking her life away.
Her incentive? No other than her tiny little 4 month old grandchild. Frances was determined to gain back the 10 years of her life she’d lost for being overweight and to become an active hands-on grandparent. She didn’t want to be the “old woman sitting the corner”. She had dreams and adventures she wanted to achieve, and with her recent retirement, she had nothing stopping her from getting out there and completing her top ten bucket list!
NHS Waiting List Didn't Stop Me
Frances didn’t have any medical conditions as many people do when considering weight loss surgery, “I didn’t have high blood pressure, and I didn’t have diabetes or any heart problems”. But being unsatisfied with her current life of being obese and unsuccessful with yoyo diets, Frances knew it was time to make changes for the better.
Before enquiring at Healthier Weight, she discussed options with her GP to have weight loss surgery on the NHS. However, despite being excessively overweight, Frances was not considered a high-risk patient as she had no medical conditions. So, it was at least a three-year wait and that’s only if she was accepted!
Frances felt that if she was to wait three years, she might begin to overthink surgery and change her mind. That’s why she is so grateful for today!
Why I chose Healthier Weight
The main reason Frances chose weight loss surgery with us was because of our lifelong support and unrivalled aftercare package. Frances told us how grateful she is for Healthier Weight, from the initial phone call, she felt “no pressure, just support.”
“I’m so grateful to Healthier Weight because I felt it helped mentally, to be in a happier place where I am going to be now for the next twenty years”.
Aftercare is crucial to success in weight loss. No two journeys are the same and at Healthier Weight we pride ourselves on taking the time to understand each individual patient to give them the best support in their weight loss journey. Seeing Frances’ incredible results and continued success with weight loss is a team effort that we are very proud of.
Knowing that someone is there to support you on your journey for a lifetime was comforting for Frances, as maintaining her weight loss was always her biggest struggle and she made it her goal that this time she would succeed. Like any of us in life, before we make life-changing decisions such as having weight loss surgery, we research until we find the best results. Frances was honest that Healthier Weight wasn’t the cheapest provider, but you get what you pay for, and other companies only offered three or five years aftercare, then “basically, you’re out on your own”.
Before surgery - life on the sidelines.
Before her weight loss surgery, Frances was the opposite of confident. She always felt like the one who didn’t deserve to be in the photo. She felt embarrassed to join in and would be watching all of the fun from the sidelines.
Frances recalls the time she went on a Go Karting trip for her husbands birthday, and she felt uncomfortable with the thought of asking for a double XL suit. She wasn’t able to enjoy the moment because she was more concerned about physically getting out of the Kart. “I’m never going to get out of this again”.
Frances was always a self-effacing friend and actively avoided group photos.
“You know when you go out with a group of friends, and you always have that one friend that will hold the coats and take the pictures… well, that was me“.
Frances has come a long way since having her Gastric sleeve procedure. She is a confident, self-assured woman and will happily be at the forefront of those group photos!
Having a positive relationship with food
After constantly considering biscuits and chocolate as ‘bad foods’, Frances has realised that it is acceptable in moderation. Before surgery, she just wanted to stop thinking about food, but has acknowledged that it is impossible; food fuels us to keep us alive. So now, thoughts of food have been optimised by adopting healthier eating habits. “Now I think about eating healthier, rather than food being a bad thing”.
Holiday fun and eating out should not make you go into panic mode, and that is something Frances has realised. Recently, she has been on a UK cruise with her husband, and she described it as a “food fest”. Frances gained three pounds from this week away, this would have worried her before, but now, her mindset is completely different.
“I had a really good week, I really enjoyed it, and I know exactly what I can do about it when I come home.“
At Healthier Weight, we encourage healthy relationships with food and want to positively reinforce that even once you have weight loss surgery, you can still enjoy food and treat yourself. We have expert dietitians on hand to help out with meal plans and offer advice post-op.
Weight loss surgery doesn’t just make you feel fantastic; it also gives you self control and the ability to remain positive, even on gloomy days.
Embracing being sixty and feeling twenty years younger
Life is full of enthusiasm now; bariatric surgery has made Frances feel twenty years younger! Age has never been less of a concern, “I embraced being sixty.” The worry she had was being older before her time and not doing simple things like going places with her daughters, being an energetic Grandmother or even walking and talking at the same time.
The super grandma Frances is now more active, very aware of her steps, and will hit her target every day! She now enjoys playing golf twice a week and eventually wants to take her grandchild swimming.
“Now to be able to enjoy retirement – I am a lot more active”
Finally, after a lifetime of hard work, retirement has come and it’s time to enjoy freedom! Frances’s Bucket list is very active, and she admits that without weight loss surgery, she wouldn’t dream of the thought of wanting to skydive, learning to play golf, active holidays and a sailor course! The determination and passion for her life now is extraordinary, and her ability to be so headstrong and willing to do the best is inspirational.
“I now have the energy; I now actually want to do things”
Being open about my surgery
Unfortunately, weight loss surgery is considered indolent in society, for years it’s been deemed as the easy way out. Many people who have had weight loss surgery know that isn’t true. It is a complete change of lifestyle and takes physical and mental strength.
At the start, Frances thought she would be embarrassed. She was private about going into surgery and only very few close family and friends knew about her decision. But, despite this, once Frances had the surgery it was not something she was secretive about.
The more time went on and more pounds shredded, people would say, “oh, you’ve lost weight” and “how did you do that”. But, Frances entirely owned it because it has led her to happiness.
“why you would want to keep weight loss surgery a secret, because I think it is the best thing I have ever done, honestly.”
The support and guidance Frances felt she had was astonishing, “I was very happy with what I have done, and I was happy with Healthier Weight.” We are very proud of Frances and all her achievements so far, and we are excited to see the future and her active adventures to come!