I had been overweight all my life, a fat child, fat teenager and fat adult. As a child about to start secondary school I was a size 16. I have no idea what I weighed as we had no scales but I do remember my size as I had to get my school skirt from the adult section in M&S.
My first diet started when I was about 20 when I bought myself a calorie book and started to learn the calorific value of just about every food. I began a strict 1000 calorie a day diet and the weight soon came off, however as I got thinner and people started to comment on how well I looked I thought that maybe I had lost enough and that I really did look OK. The lowest weight I ever remember as an adult was 12 stone 8 and a size 16, and this was after dieting!
After the calorie controlled diet, I began piling on the pounds again as I believed I looked good and didn’t need to continue dieting. I then joined weight watchers and remember being 15 stone 8. I followed their diet to the book but again, as soon as I started to loose weight and started receiving comments from people I gradually lost interest in dieting, and the weight soon went back on. I must have rejoned weight watchers 3 times in all, loosing and regaining weight each time. I also joined Slimmers World, tried the ‘egg and grapefruit diet’, Rosemary Connelly’s diet, Fibre Diet and finally ‘diet pills’ from a so called doctor which made me really quite ill. The net result from all these Yo-Yo diets was that at the age of 36 I had fnally reached 20 stone and a size 26/28 and knew that I had to do something once and for all. I found it hard to walk very far, especially in the heat, and climbing stairs was very difficult.
It was at this time that I happend to see an article on the BBC Healthcheck programme about a woman (Janet) who had had some sort of gastric band surgery in France and had lost an amazing amount of weight. As soon as the programme had ended I went to the BBC website to see if I could find out more about this surgery and so started my six month research into gastric banding. What it meant, what it involved and if in fact it was the right thing for me.
Anyway, this is how, on December 1st, 2000 I came to be in Lyon about to undergo my life changing surgery. I was 127.7kgs, or 20 stone and half a pound, and only 5ft 3. I was also terrified and thought I would die!
My surgery was at 7am and before I knew what was happening I was back in the recovery room and remember looking at a clock and realising it wasn’t yet 8am. Something had definitely gone wrong, my surgery hadn’t taken place although I had had an anaesthetic as I was feeling very groggy At this point I decided to feel my stomach and was amazed to discover bandages there!!
By 9.30am I was back on the ward and I remember my husband being there and saying something about it all going really well and then I was asleep again. When I awoke properly later in the day I was visited by my surgeon who explained that everything had in fact gone extremey well, the operation had lasted only about 20 mins and that I would be up and out of bed later that evening! I did get up later and although I felt bruised – as if elephants had been dancing on my stomach – it didn’t actually hurt very much, nothing like when I had my appendix removed years ealier or my 2 cesarian sections.