I have always struggled with my weight since I was a child. I grew up being constantly compared to my twin sister who didn’t have the same weight issues as me. I would always try and make myself be invisible in social situations and not draw attention to my weight by always making sure I was well dressed and always do anything and everything to people please those around me to make them like me despite my weight.
My eating habits pre surgery were sporadic, I would not eat all day and then eat two serves for dinner late at night. I love pasta and potato, so a lot of my meals were quite heavy for that time of day. I would also snack a lot, a full bag of chips in one sitting was not unusual for me.
My husband and I were trying to start a family but with my irregular cycle due to PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and how high my weight was, we spent years trying without success. There were limited options to address our issues though as I was over the weight limit for any fertility treatments.
I was born with a heart condition, so I was at a higher risk of heart failure, and my cardiologist was concerned about the excess weight and the burden it placed on my heart. I was also borderline pre diabetic prior to surgery due to insulin resistance caused by PCOS. I would be out of breath after exerting myself and would plan outings and parking on how close I could get to minimise the walk for myself whenever we had to go anywhere.
A few members of my extended family had made the decision to have weight loss which brought it onto my radar, I had heard about it previously but wasn’t entirely sure about it. Watching their successes though definitely made me feel like it was something I should do for myself. Dr Siva Gounder was the surgeon they had all used, so I went to him as well. He was lovely from the moment I first met him, put all my fears aside and had me booked in very soon after my first appointment. I was definitely nervous about the procedure as I had not been under for a major operation since I was a child, but I took the plunge and did it, and I don’t regret it. I weighed in at 177.8kgs at my heaviest recorded weight, and I underwent surgery in May 2018.
Recovery from surgery was tough on day one, the gas pain is uncomfortable, but getting up and walking like they suggest is a key factor in feeling better faster as much as it seems like the last thing you want to be doing. By Day two and three though I felt much better and was surprised how quickly I recovered. The liquid phase of the diet was tough, but it definitely made me appreciate the soft foods so much more when I could finally get to them. I would look forward to each transition stage of food and count down to all the things I could add into my diet in my new tiny portions. I was very strict on myself post-surgery I had this tool and I wanted to make sure I used it to my full advantage to maximise the weight loss.
The weight loss journey post-surgery is not always consistent, I would hit plateaus that seemed never ending, but the weight loss would always move again eventually and it would usually be during these plateaus I would notice that my clothes were getting looser as I was losing centimetres at that time instead.
My relationship with food has changed, I pack breakfast and lunch for myself and have small consistent meals during the day to keep me fuelled. I am not interested in fast food options anymore because it doesn’t seem worth it. I don’t feel like I miss out on anything I just get to enjoy the things I like in smaller portions and prioritise better options for my body.
As the weight came off my confidence has grown and I feel comfortable in my own skin, I don’t feel like I have to hide my body or stay invisible in social situations. I have noticed how people treat me differently, in both good and bad ways. It is definitely an eye-opening experience in that way.
After 18 months post-surgery my husband and I started trying for a baby again, and my cycles had resumed as regular and I had no trouble falling pregnant, however we suffered multiple miscarriages. It was a hard time for us as we would both usually use food as a coping mechanism for our emotions but had to find other ways to deal with our grief. Then finally in February 2021 we had our rainbow baby. During the pregnancy I was still losing weight, slowly, so my overall weight gain was minimal and post birth I dropped around another 10kgs and finally hit my goal. 100kg loss and into the 70s!
Now having an active baby, I can get down on the floor and play with him, and I can’t wait to be able to run around with him when the time comes. I have the freedom to be able to do all that without the additional weight, I would have definitely struggled with the physical demands of pregnancy and motherhood without the weight loss. And we have recently found out that we are expecting our second baby! None of this would have been possible without the surgery and Dr Siva Gounder, who not only changed my life but saved it as well and gave me the gift of finally having the family I always wanted.
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