Food has dominated my life up until surgery and one of the nicest things is that it doesn’t dominate me anymore

Maggie Hyett, 58, had a gastric band with us at Healthier Weight in 2016 before she went ahead with revision surgery of a band to bypass in September 2020. Maggie has so far lost over 7 stone but in those 6 years since having her initial surgery, she has managed to keep the weight off, proving the power weight loss surgery can have on changing your life long term.

So Why Weight Loss Surgery?

For as long as she could remember, Maggie has been overweight. She described herself as ‘being really good at losing weight’ but by this, she meant short term. Maggie tried ‘every diet known to man’ but would always put the weight back on once the diet had ended. However, it wasn’t until she went to the GP for a check-up, that she was told her blood pressure levels were incredibly high. ‘This really scared me because my aunt died of a stroke’ which led Maggie to have a conversation with her GP about the possibility of having weight loss surgery and how this may help her in the future. Additionally to this, Maggie also began the menopause meaning losing weight for her was even harder with all the other hormonal bodily changes she was going through.

The Journey From Band To Bypass

Following her discussion with her GP, Maggie found Healthier Weight and it was a free consultation where she could ask as many questions as she liked, under no time restriction or pressure to make a decision that was the deciding factor to begin her weight loss surgery journey.

After having her initial gastric band put in place, Maggie explained she had no problems at all until she began to feel poorly 3 years down the line when she discovered the band had slipped. After getting this removed by the NHS, she began to put weight back on as soon as she recovered from the band removal surgery due to the change in her body and eating habits after such a long time. Despite this, Maggie persevered and discovered she could have revision surgery. ‘I quite fancied having a gastric sleeve especially as they just started doing the ESG (Endoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy) and it appealed to me due to the no cutting involved.’ After enquiring with Healthier Weight, Maggie was told that the ESG wasn’t an option post-band due to the scarring it had left meaning there could be a lot of complications so, after meeting Mr Singhal for a consultation, he explained the best option for her was having the gastric bypass.

"It's just life now, it’s who I’m supposed to be"

A gastric bypass is the most effective form of weight loss surgery we offer at Healthier Weight. It can see patients lose 70-80% of their excess weight loss.  however we understand it can also seem like the scariest but after speaking with Maggie, it seems like it was the best decision she could have made.

‘It’s the best gift I could have given myself. I haven’t found a downside yet. I like how I look and that I can do anything I want to do. I like having energy, I even took up jogging briefly! My blood pressure is normal, I’m not on any medication for that and I know going forward I’m giving myself a better chance at later life. I like being able to pick up and run around after my grandson and have that active lifestyle which was impossible being seven stone heavier. It’s only when you live life post-surgery, you realise how limited your life pre-surgery was.’

No More Calorie Counting!

One aspect Maggie discussed and what we at Healthier Weight want to talk more about is calorie counting. Since her surgery, Maggie no longer calorie counts. She has learnt what she can and can’t eat in terms of her body’s limits on portion size and the nutrition she needs to lead a healthy lifestyle. This means she can now go out for meals and eat a balanced diet (including some of her favourite foods) without fuelling the disordered eating that often comes with diet culture.

Maggie's Advice To Future/Current Patients...

"I see quite a few people think weight loss surgery is going to be the magic wand. It’s not. It’s acknowledging it’s a tool, the bypass as well as the band."

Maggie’s previous job was luckily based within the mental health sector meaning she felt quite well prepared for this procedure. In relation to this, what she advises is for others to do their research prior to having the surgery to make sure they are psychologically prepared for the changes needed in their lifestyle to work alongside the procedure. You may have stalls or put a little bit of weight back on at some points but it’s important to know this is all part of the process and it doesn’t mean you have failed or that the procedure isn’t working.

Maggie also advises getting involved with the Facebook groups at Healthier Weight as it can be incredibly supportive throughout your weight loss surgery journey. Whether you need some advice or want to share your progress, you have people who are there for you and more importantly, who understand your situation.

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