Procedure of choice Gastric band
Starting weight 21st 1lb
Current weight 14st 8lb
Total weight loss 6st 7lb*
Trigger for weight loss Limited mobility and joint pain
I was a very athletic youth and ran cross country for five years. As a teenager I ate like a horse. I’d have huge portions and kept that eating habit up but let the exercise habit decline. I struggled to maintain my weight for a long time. When my first daughter was born I weighed 13 ½ stone but I just couldn’t hold back after that. I’d gain 3 stones, lose 2 and then put on 4 until I ratcheted up to 23 stones. I felt so unhappy with myself. My mobility was severely compromised.
Once I became a fat person, I became addicted to what I now regard as “a fat way of life”. I would think about food all day long, I needed a “fix” every two hours and getting the fix became the focus of the day. My routine would be to have breakfast of orange juice, cereal and lots of toast during the week with a serious fry-up at weekends. As I wasn’t working on Saturdays and Sundays I would just carry on eating all day. This constant desire to eat drove my weight gain.
Six years ago, I could barely walk; even a hundred yards was agony, my weight had just crushed my knee joints and I had to have an operation to replace my left knee. The anaesthetist refused to give me a general anaesthetic because I was so heavy so consequently I had to endure the operation with just an epidural – a very unpleasant experience.
The trigger to tackle my weight came four years later when helping my daughter to move. I was weeping with pain from the other knee. If I had an operation on this knee, I knew it would take me another two years to recover. I had to do something about my weight. I started to do some research and went to visit a competitor of Healthier Weight’s but I didn’t get a good feeling about them. When I rang Healthier Weight I spoke to Emma and was reassured to attend a consultation.
My wife came with me to the consultation and I must confess I was rather affronted when Dr Ashton said to me you need a gastric band! I was hoping some Weight to Go food and a gastric balloon would suffice. Surgery seemed very drastic. My wife however was immediately sold on the idea and so I went ahead quite quickly. It was a smooth operation at a modern and pleasant private hospital. The surgery was very efficient and I have no visible scars. I made a swift recovery and was back at work in just 2 days. The weight dropped off immediately, I lost 3 stones in 2 months*. It then slowed down and I’ve had one or two setbacks along the way but I am keeping off 6½ stones.*
The benefits of losing weight are tremendous
I’m no longer dependent on food. I don't plan my day around food. *
I don’t get anxious when I can’t have food or have to stop at a petrol station for a food fix. I don't fret about staying at a friend’s house and not getting enough food. I still enjoy food, in fact as I taste every mouthful, I probably enjoy it more*.
- My food bill is a fraction of what it was! I don’t eat expensive fast food, just great food. *
My knee pain has disappeared and from a mobility point of view I’m “cured”. I now regularly cycle 30 miles! *
My sleep is hugely improved as I'm no longer getting up several times during the night to pee. On a good night I could be up 2 or 3 times and on a bad night it would be 6 or 7. I don’t suffer from the awful bladder pressure that plagued me before. *
I’ve stopped snoring which combined with not getting up so much means my wife and I have a much better night's sleep. *
I had middle age onset diabetes and had to take medication daily. That has been cured, I no longer take medication and my blood sugar is normal. *
I had high blood pressure even though I was taking 7 different types of medication. I’m now on half that and my blood pressure is within the normal range. *
My life has improved! I just feel so much better about myself, more attractive and interested in my appearance. I can now buy clothes from any high street shop. *
I no longer have to change my shirt and underwear a couple of times a day because I sweated so much. Now I don’t need to. *
When I go away I can take a small case instead of a large one. I need fewer changes of clothes and my clothes are smaller. *
I don’t have the embarrassment of having to ask for the seat extension belt on an aeroplane. *
I still have some way to go to reach my target weight. I’ve gone from a 56” waist trouser to a 40” waist*. My target is 36” and a couple more stone. That would be perfection!
If you were a thin person reading this you wouldn’t understand what I’m saying, but if you recognise what I’m talking about here, then for your own sake, for your family’s sake – get it fixed. There is no longer any reason to be fat. I believe it’s the simplest way to reduce your weight permanently. *
Graham (January 2010 )
Read an update of Graham's story for July 2011