Those of you who have known me for a long time will know that I have always struggled with my weight. I guess it all started when nasty girls called me ‘fat arse’ in primary school. I went on my first diet when I was fourteen and have been a yo-yo dieter ever since, trying everything in the book. You name it; I’ve tried it and probably succeeded at losing the weight. From the heights of 113.5 kilograms to a low of 60 kilograms (note picture above); just over five years ago I made a decision to put an end to it in the interests of my health.
I had a lapband – a type of bariatric surgery – done. I lost the weight (and some extra) and managed to keep it off for a number of years as the lapband – at least initially – helped me with hunger. However, I started to have difficulties with the band about 18 months ago and over the last 12 months more weight than I could ‘stomach’ (pardon the pun) started to come back on. The lapband was removed in May this year.
I didn’t tell everyone about the band. In fact, I actively tried to hide it from anyone but my closest friends. I avoided group lunches or, if I did go, I didn’t eat. I never went anywhere to eat without knowing where the nearest bathroom was, as food could very easily get stuck.
So now, I am telling anyone who wishes to hear that next week I will be having a revision to a gastric sleeve. Unlike the band, this is permanent. I will be restricted to eating/drinking no more than a cup at a time – and even less, in the first months after surgery. I wanted to be open about this decision, not because it is up for discussion or that I want to hear anyone’s opinion, but because I have decided that I won’t be keeping secrets anymore. That’s not to say that I will be explaining myself to every waiter in town when I hardly touch my lunch, but I am not going to avoid social, and sometimes professional, situations as I have often done over the past five years.
The advice I have received is that the sleeve will better assist with hunger, and be much easier to live with compared to the band once the initial months are over. This is all about me living a long, happy and healthy life.
I don’t regret for a second having the lapband in the first place. I would not have made a decision to do something permanent at the time, but now I am ready to. The band gave me confidence to get more active and, as many of you know, I swim 1500m nearly every day now.
I thank you all in advance for your support in the coming months. And, in the future, when I don’t eat all my food I hope you will understand.