I’ve been overweight most of my life. I have had some success with diet plans over the years, but found the minute I relaxed a bit, the weight would return (and some) and I’d be back at square one again. While I found I could lose weight, I just couldn’t keep it off. Towards the end of 2008 I celebrated my 30th birthday and knew things had to change. While I didn’t have any health problems at the time, both my parents are overweight and heart disease runs in the family so I knew the chances were my health would start to suffer. And no less consideration was the fact that I hated the way I looked, and the struggle I had to find clothes I wanted to wear. I remember on more than one occasion of crying in frustration that from one month to the next, I’d put on weight and move up another dress size.
I met Dr Ashton after finding Healthier Weight from an Internet search. I had contacted another couple of companies but I just had a good feeling from the person at Healthier Weight I first made contact with. I booked my appointment and went to London with my husband for the consultation. Dr Ashton was completely honest and upfront with me. I had no idea I weighed what I did, deluding myself that I could only be around 15 stone. I had half a mind that he’d send me away, telling me I wasn’t heavy enough for surgery, but he was completely honest with me and talked me through my options. Clearly, I was heavy enough for surgery, and taking into account my lifestyle and job, he advised a gastric bypass was my best option. I had already looked into the surgery and had come to the same conclusion, but he answered all my questions, from risks and chances of success to how the operation works and recovery time.
I had the gastric bypass operation in February 2009 in Manchester. I was there for 2 nights, and returned to work a week later. For the next 12 months, I had regular meetings with Claire, my Healthier Weight nurse, and I knew there was always someone on the end of the phone to answer questions.
Two years down the line, I now have days when I forget I’ve even had the surgery. The first 12 months was total adjustment – the weight came off quickly, and it was trial and error as to what I could and couldn’t tolerate eating*. I avoided all things “bad”, chocolate, alcohol etc to give myself the best chance of making the surgery successful. Now I’m just getting on with life. I obviously feel better, despite not having any specific health complaints, I just feel better*. And I can shop wherever I like, which is an exciting new world!* The surgery has got me to the point where I’m at a healthier weight. I now need to work on keeping it off. Surgery is not a magic answer, but it is the most fantastic tool. Neither is it an easy option, it takes work and commitment. But I really don’t think I could have lost over 8 stone and, more importantly, kept it off, without surgery.*