I mentioned in my September Instagram post that I have some big life changes happening this month. So I thought I’d give you a bit of background and where I am at now along with what’s planned with a ‘life update’ on my weight loss journey.
It’s no secret that I’m overweight, although I do tend to hide away from staring eyes and looks of judgement (of which there is a lot, and some it does get to me). I have always been overweight and have tried every diet known to man, lost weight then put it on again, the yo-yo effect!
I have learnt that eating good nutrients and unprocessed food is the best start I can give my body and a good starting point for a healthy gut. But even with this I still experienced weight gain and friends would say they could never understand why I did lose weight with how healthy I eat.
I gained a lot of weight after a serious chest infection (Pleurisy) some years ago, I had months of prescription steroids to aid my recovery, but I never seemed to recover, I started to have regular afternoon naps, I would wake up feeling knackered, and when I did attempt exercise I would spend the following days in bed with flu-like symptoms I eventually broke down in tears to my doctor saying I could no longer cope, she decided it was time for a full MOT.
Well, I didn’t pass the MOT I was deficient in Vitamin D, Iron, Folic Acid, underactive thyroid and chronic fatigue syndrome. I was also referred to see a gastroenterologist for possible primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC – non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver). After 6 months of medication and monitoring, I was given the all-clear but was told that losing weight would prevent me from having PBC in the future and my consultant suggested referring me to NHS Tier 3 Weight Management Service.
Tier 3 Weight Management Service (T3WMS) first accessed to see if I was suitable for their service, this included a lengthy appointment where I saw a Psychotherapist, Dietician and a Consultant. I was a successful candidate, committed to the service for at least 12 months, I began with attending 8 weekly group sessions called Mood and Food, the purpose is to learn mindful eating, CBT for eating and learn about bariatric surgery. The group sessions were valuable and after the 8 weeks, I was invited to monthly drop-in sessions.
At six months I had another appointment with my consultant, in order to be considered for Bariatric Surgery I’m required to lose 5% of my weight. At this point, I had lost some weight but nowhere near enough, so the next six months were vital to getting the weight shifted. At my 12 month appointment, I had done it, lost 5% of my weight and I’d been accepted onto the Tier 4 Weight Management Service – I was going to have surgery!
I had my first meeting with my surgeon in February 2018, due to my history of asthma my surgeon wanted to ensure I had a safe procedure so suggested I have a gastric balloon placed into my stomach for six months to help me lose weight, after that time it would be removed and I would be placed on a liver reduction diet for two weeks then have surgery for a gastric bypass. Only a few weeks after my first meeting I got a call asking if I was available for my balloon insertion the following week!
Friday 1st March 2018 I went in to have my balloon placed via an endoscope under a general anaesthetic. The procedure took all of 15 minutes (so I’m told), I was soon waking up in recovery with a mouth as dry at cotton wool. At one point in the recovery, my stats were so low both the nurse and Martin started telling me to breathe, but all I wanted to do was sleep so I apparently told M to shut up! (I blame the anaesthetic) Within a few hours of coming round, I was heading home, with my sick bowl!!
I can vaguely remember the first 24 hours of being home, I was so sick in the car coming home, even with anti-sickness meds and that kind of continued for the next two days, I couldn’t even keep sips of water down. By day four I could manage small sips and on day five I managed to get through a muller light yoghurt (yes it took me all day to eat it, I was literally licking the spoon all day).
The first three weeks were tough and by week four I was managing to eat small portions of food, but there were some food which was a no-no such as eggs – for some reason the balloon wouldn’t let them pass so food would sit on top of the balloon – even carbonated drinks (recommended by the surgeon for such instances) would budge it, the only way it was coming out was to be sick (sorry if that is too much info). During those three weeks, I lost 3 kilos and over the six months the loss has remained the same with a slight increase of 4 kilos which was due to hydration after the first weeks, my surgeon is happy with my loss and I’ve just had my balloon removal scheduled for 17th September followed by a gastric bypass on 1st October. I’m having my pre-op next week so should know more then, but the next 6 weeks will be transformational, emotional and life-changing.
I’ll keep you posted.