Growing up wasn’t too difficult, I was a very sporty child and teenager. It wasn’t until my late teens that I began to notice my weight piling on year by year. At this stage of my life it wasn’t a problem as I was very active and still playing semi-professional rugby league. Then, at the age of 19 and weighing 19 stones, I suffered a second serious injury to my ankle which left me incapacitated for a considerable amount of time. Unable to walk or exercise, I began to pile on the pounds and every year of my life I gained a stone in weight.
This wasn’t helped by my job as a pub landlord which is a notoriously unhealthy profession with long working hours and no set meal times. Snacking and junk food are the norm. Looking back at these times now, it makes me realise how lucky I was not to suffer any serious side effects of my lifestyle choices.
After leaving the pub game, I undertook a very active job and found myself slowly losing weight. This lasted for about 9 months until I reverted to my old habits and started overeating again. This had been the story throughout my twenties and every time I lost some weight I put it back on..and more! At the age of 29 I became a father and began to realise that things in my life needed to change so I could be around for my daughter in years to come.
Throughout 2008 my wife and I researched obesity surgery extensively. I visited my GP for help but was told simply to diet. I was told that in no way would I be considered for obesity surgery on the NHS as I had no qualifying medical conditions. Undeterred I began to scour the internet and came across Healthier Weight.
In November 2008 I was 28 stone 9 pounds. I contacted Healthier Weight and spoke in depth about how I felt and what options would be available to me. After lots of discussions and soul searching I decided to proceed with gastric bypass surgery and after a medical with Dr Ashton I had my operation on 2nd November. After a short stay in hospital I felt well and was back at home the next day.
Two weeks of tender loving care and more liquids than I care to remember, I was ready to return to work. Already I had lost 1st 4lbs in weight* and my wounds had all but healed.
By Christmas time I had lost a total of 4 stones* and was beginning to really feel the benefits. My snoring and sleep apnoea had all but stopped and my mobility and standard of life were improving day by day*.
Ten months later and I have lost 10 stones* and my weight is still falling. My waist size has gone from 54” to 42” and my chest size is falling at a similar rate. I have now returned to my rugby training and feel it is possible to once again play. This could only be achieved through having the obesity surgery and losing the weight.*
Having gastric bypass surgery has, if not saved my life, certainly prolonged and improved it!*