Here I have an honest guest post from fellow blogger Emma who shares her weight loss story after having weight loss surgery. I have not had weight loss surgery but like to be able to share a number of different weight loss stories with you so here is one you may find interesting.
Who is Emma Drew?
Hi, I’m Emma Drew and I blog over at EmmaDrew.Info. Earlier this year I underwent weight loss surgery and had a gastric bypass. Here I am going to share my story with you. Let’s get stuck in…
Weight loss surgery is a big step, and in this guest post, I want to explain why I opted for weight loss surgery, my weight loss to date and some of the challenges along the way.
What is weight loss surgery?
There are a few types of weight loss surgery available. You have probably heard of the band, but there are also surgeries like gastric sleeve surgery where a portion of your stomach is removed and the gastric bypass, where a small stomach pouch is created and some of your intestines are rerouted.
These surgeries shrink your stomach (or how much food can get into your stomach) meaning that you eat less, and therefore lose weight.
Weight loss surgery is available on the NHS, privately in the UK and privately abroad.
Why I decided to get weight loss surgery
I have always been overweight, and after paying for private therapy and hypnotherapy for a year we were able to discover the root of my weight issues, and why I always self-sabotage when I start a diet.
I had been diagnosed with type ii diabetes 2-3 years prior, but even that wasn’t the wake-up call that I needed.
It all came to a head one day when I struggled to walk somewhere that should have been really easy. That was it, my lightbulb moment. As soon as we got back to the car I cried and told my husband that I was going to have weight loss surgery.
I have tried every diet going and the most I had ever lost was 1 stone (14lbs) before putting it all back on again.
I had seen a friend go through weight loss surgery just over a year ago and saw what an amazing difference it made to her life, and it was decided, I was going to do this.
Where I went for it and how much it cost
After making my decision to have it I still had to decide which surgery to have and where to go.
I made the decision to have weight loss surgery in August 2019 and then had my surgery at the end of January 2020. I used this time to find a surgeon I was happy with, and we moved house in December.
If you go privately you can get the surgery done in as little as 3 weeks. The NHS waiting time will depend on your BMI, your Trust and any health conditions you have, but the average is 2 years.
First I looked at going abroad at a cost of around £3,000 – £3,500 once flights were paid for, but I wasn’t comfortable with this.
I then contacted a few private places in the UK before settling on Tonic Weight Loss. I had my gastric bypass on 26th January 2020 by Mr Al-Taan. I paid privately and it cost me £10,500.
After weight loss surgery you have to learn to eat again, meaning a strict liquids-only diet for 2 weeks before moving on to 2 weeks of pureed foods and then 2 weeks of soft food before you can start trying to eat normally again.
I say normally…eating will never be normal again!
Now that I am 5 months out of surgery I find that I can eat most things in much smaller portions. All of my meals are served on a side plate, and some days I can’t even tolerate any food at all and have to go back to liquids only.
Weirdly I can still eat chocolate and sugar without it making me sick, and crisps are a ‘slider’ food meaning that I don’t get full on them and can eat them for ages.
After weight loss surgery you also have to take daily vitamins. As a gastric bypass patient, this will be for life. I am taking 2 x multivitamins, 2 x calcium, iron and biotin. Some of these are prescribed and some I have to buy myself.
Another really important thing to mention is that weight loss surgery patients suffer from hair loss. Your body goes into shock after the surgery and your hair starts falling out. There is no way to prevent this, but increasing your protein and taking biotin means that the regrowth is stronger.
The first thing to mention is that I reversed my type ii diabetes just days after my surgery. Days!
I am coming up to 5 months post weight loss surgery, and I have lost 51 lbs to date including the two-week liver-reducing diet I had to do before my surgery.
I am classed as a ‘slow loser’ compared to other patients, and sometimes this gets me down. Then I remember that I have only ever lost 14 lbs by myself and that not only have I lost over 50 lbs, I have also reversed my diabetes.
Clothes sizing is weird – I was around 22-26 before surgery, and now I am between 16-22 depending on the item of clothing.
The most important thing to mention is that weight loss surgery has not been an easy way out. Whilst I can only eat much smaller portions, I still have to watch what I eat.
I could still eat rubbish all day if I don’t actively make healthier choices. Weight loss surgery is a tool, and I am still working on my mindset and finding non-food rewards and comforts when life is challenging.
This has been the best thing that I have ever done for myself!
Other success stories you might like
Weightlifting not weight loss – how changing focus can make a huge difference
Matthews 22 stone to 15 stone weight loss story
Fibromyalgia weight loss story
Ben – pre teen’s weight loss story
Why I think you should ignore your BMI
Ten truths of slimming as a couple
Weight loss whilst breastfeeding
My weight loss story size 30 to size 6
A note from Jen
Would you consider weight loss surgery? Has this given you the courage to go for it or made you realise you would rather follow another regime to lose weight? Do let me know in the comments.
To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more then do check out my comprehensive Weight Loss section.
The most important thing is to realise this is a tool it is not a sole solution. 12 years ago I paid for the surgery after loosing 12.5 stones but still being 21stone and sadly starting to regain. It was hard I was a very slow loser but did it becoming 10 stone 7lbs. Then paying over £30,000 for excess skin removal. BUT every day since I have had to fight myself to keep the weight off, it has been very hard and I know I will fight for the rest of my life. Is it worth it? For me yes you can’t survive long at 35 stones but I never realised just how hard it would be. Especially as I swapped one addiction food for first shopping which I gradually conquered then alcoholism which I am struggling with now but am almost there. So its a great tool but it isn’t an easy way out.
I have requested WLS on The NHS.
First try I was turned down.
My Doctor then appealed the decision and then covid struck so I am still waiting.
Thank you for this article. I have wondered what it was like having WLS and you answered more than one question for me.
I am the same with diets. I have been dieting for years and always self-sabotage. I don’t know why as I would love to slim.