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“I have always struggled with my weight from a young age slowly putting it on in my early and late teens. I tried so many diets that I became an expert in most of them but even though I managed to lose weight sometimes I could never keep it off. It had a massive impact on my confidence and self esteem and I tried to hide under loose fitting and dark clothes. I finally had enough and went to see my GP and discussed the option of having gastric surgery as I never managed to control my weight. I was referred to the bariatric team at UHCW and over a time period was given counselling and group sessions and advice on what the best route was. I then had several meetings with my dietician and other members of the team and we discussed everything relating to how I got to where I was and how we were going to move forward. I found these sessions extremely helpful as I was able to discuss everything without being judged. My Dietician saw me through the whole process and I still have appointments now to discuss my progress.

In terms of the surgery, the day of the surgery arrived and the surgeon Mr Menon was very experienced and put me at ease straight away. The surgery itself was relatively quick and I spent a few hours in the ward before being sent home. The first few months after the surgery were difficult as I had to stick to a strict diet to reintroduce foods but my hunger had reduced massively. I now have to really watch my portions and chew carefully to make sure I don’t overeat. .

It has now been nearly a year since the surgery and my life has changed dramatically. I have lost almost 10 stone since the start of my bariatric journey and this includes the weight I had to lose prior to the surgery to prove I would be able to continue once the surgery was complete. I still have my ups and downs with food and I have to be careful with what I eat. I’ve had to learn the band doesn't work miracles but works really well if I use it as a tool for my weight loss. I have to listen to my body and how it reacts to the food I eat. .

In terms of how the bad has changed my life for the better, I feel like a whole new person and I’ve started buying new clothes and looking after myself and my body. I have gained so much confidence and do things I would never have dreamt of before. I am able to wear clothes which I actually like now and not just buy the largest size that fits. I’ve had one or two fills since the actual surgery and I’m adapting to living with a band. I would not change anything about my surgery as it improved my life so dramatically and it would not have been possible without the help of the weight loss team of UHCW.”