My weight has been a self fulfilling prophesy. Since I was a teenager, with protruding hips and collar bones, I was convinced I was overweight. Determined to wear that bikini, but hideously embarrassed about my body. Everybody, and I mean everybody was, in my mind, skinnier, prettier, smaller, better.... In my mid 20s entering my weight on a form as 64kg (I'm 165cm) I was overwhelmed by the shame of obesity. When I got married 20 years ago I weighed about 75kg and the dressmaker continuously referred to me as one of her 'bigger brides'. In my head all I heard was the message that I was fat. If I could only turn back the clock and give myself a good slap!! Even as I face gastric sleeve surgery I doubt I'll see that unappreciated and much maligned 64kg mark again. I'll be happy with the wedding weight 75! So.... Now I'm 53 years old, mother of 3 teenagers and a miserable, unhealthy, life stifling 110kg. I have type 2 diabetes, which is managed but terrifying. My 'netball knees' are suffering under the weight and I'm stuck in the cycle of needing to exercise but being too unfit, tired and miserable to be able to motivate myself. You name a diet I've tried it! 5:2, Atkins, soup, Weight watchers, Jenny Craig, Dukan, Impromy (the best of the lot) ....... the list is so long. I've had some success along the way only to find them unsustainable and I so easily slip back into old habits and the weight creeps back like some insidious cloak of shame and failure. My GP has been suggesting surgery for a few years now, I didn't really take it seriously. The cost for a start, even with private health insurance, was a major factor. Three kids were the priority and I felt selfish even thinking of spending thousands on my lack of self control. At my local weigh watchers group the leader spoke with disdain of those who chose surgery over 'grit and determination'. She spent many meetings telling us of the horrendous side effects and the damaged caused to the body from this unnatural practice. She looked suspiciously at new members that lost "too much" weight and speculated on their surgical status. She'll be mortified at my impending defection to the 'dark side'!! (....and secretly I can't wait to run into her in six months time!!) With my health getting progressively worse, no energy, headaches etc, I've found myself withdrawing from life. I don't want to meet friends, go to work functions, meet new people, I don't want to go out with family....I'm just too tired. And fat. This, my friends, is not healthy mentally or physically. I don't want to miss out. I want to participate, actively, in my family's life. Now finances are more flexible I've decided to take the plunge, much to the delight of my GP and the horror of my husband. He's a born worrier so I expected nothing less.... but he's supportive. I meet with the surgeon and in what seems like a bit of a whirlwind, my surgery is booked for Monday the 16th of November. Day one of my second chance. So, so, so excited!