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Yesterday I had my first appointment at the BMI clinic in Joondalup with Dr. Kathi, for what I thought was going to be Gastric Band surgery. I came out knowing I was going to have to go and research the Gastric Sleeve. Dr. Kathi suggested a Gastric Sleeve because of my age and lifestyle. It would seem that this is the way forward after perusing so many web pages etc. So, let me give you a bit of history; I am married to Phil and have been for 32 years next week! We have been together for 38 years. We have 4 adult sons and 2 grandsons. We are good male breeders!! I work at a bible college as the Academic Dean and have been there for 16 years. Yes in some respects I am very boring and don't like change but prefer to work through issues for a good result. In all areas accept me and my weight! I remember when I was 15 standing on the scales at the royal show and I was 8 st. 13oz. Pretty normal I guess back then but on the heavy side. My friends were skinny I was "fat". And so began my yo yo weight life of diet eat diet eat diet eat. Pretty sure I've lost a whole lot more than my weight in my lifetime... Moving along I remember when I met Phil when I was 22. I weighed in at 57 kilos or 9 stone. I had been on a diet again but this time was staying put and quite happy. As I have big boobs I was always a size 14/16 and frankly don't ever remember anything less. Then I became pregnant and used that as an excuse to eat. Boy I wish someone had told me that I shouldn't do that. After the last son was born I weighed in at around 80 kilos. He is 24 this year! In September 2010 I was diagnosed with an Ovarian tumour and I had a radical hysterectomy 3 days later. My doctor said to me "it is cancer until proven otherwise". Not the words you want to hear. The tumour was the size of a baby's head but fortunately it was benign. At that time I was 107 kilos. About a year after I hit the scales at my heaviest. I was 117 kilos. It was then I drew a line in the sand and said enough! I realised I was killing myself and made some changes. I reduced and have almost removed gluten from my diet. I drink 1 coffee a day with milk otherwise no Lactose. I rarely eat sugar, but I do like a nice red with a meal on the odd occasion. If I don't see all the ingredients I don't eat it, which means I don't eat packaged food at all anymore. In all of those changes though I only managed to lose 18 kilos and must say whilst Im still obese at 5'2" and 99 kilos I feel so much better than I ever did. But all the overeating has given me insulin issues. I dont have Diabetes but I am insulin resistant, Syndrome X they call it I think. I have been 99 kilos for a year and without Metformin I cant lose any more. Hence the Gastric Band journey because I knew that any diabetes issues were removed. So now Im thinking the sleeve and agree with what the Doctor spoke to me of yesterday. My hubby is FIFO at the moment and when he is home we like to go out and have a meal. This was worrying me because at 60 this year I want to be able to do the things that we can enjoy together and eating is one of them. Oh yeah have a mentioned he's like stick figure! So I wont be able to eat so much but I can eat anything with a GS so the doc said. On a Wednesday the local pub does a steak night and we go with the kids and hubby when he's home. All I could think of as I was driving to my appointment yesterday was that I could go to steak night but I would not be having the steak!! I would have to watch the rest of the family eating steak which I was told is pretty much a no can do with a GB. Whilst I wont ever be able to eat a whole steak again with a GS I will be able to eat a couple of mouthfuls which will make me happy. The negatives; 1. The skin issue. I already have lose skin so adding more is going to freak me out. I know better to be healthy but my head isn't quite there yet. 2. The hair issue. I have fine long hair, and I'll freak out if I lose it. Again better to be healthy... The Positives; 1. Pretty sure the pre diabetes issues will go 2. My biological age will reduce. Its 74 as of yesterday. 3. My metabolism might kick in which would be nice My Goal; "To have 20 good healthy years with Phil" Let's see how we go
â€œTake a seat, shouldnâ€™t be too much longer.â€ I sat down in the clinic, waiting for the start of the free information session. Yes I was a little nervous as I would be finding out a lot about what I am about to go through, but also I will be sharing something that has been a very private subject with all the other people in the room. Others stared to arrive and I began to question if I should even be here. It just seemed that everyone else was bigger than I, so I began to think is this something I should be doing because I donâ€™t seem to fit that profile? The surgeon was running late, caught in theatre so the dietician started the session in hope that the surgeon would make it later on. She explained the basics of the procedure and what to expect. Explained about how this procedure will change our lives and some of the bad things you can do. It ended up being a really good session; people were sharing what they knew or heard, asking questions and clarifying wives tales. It was very refreshing to be amongst a group of people that were looking to start on the same journey as yourself. The surgeon had just arrived at the end of the session and gave a brief presentation on the risks and expectations of what we might be in for if we chose to continue. Again everyone was engaged and the information from our questions was valuable indeed. I would highly recommend attending these kind of free information sessions as there are a lot of questions you can get answers to before you even fork out the initial consultation fee. Walking out of the session I was even more confident that this was the right thing for me, now just to convince the surgeonâ€¦
There are a lot of things you hear about weight loss. Some good, some consider miracles and some that are just so bad you just want to ignore them. I think its just for the best to stay away from things with the word celebrity linked with them! I was at home recently, off work with the flu and I said to myself that why not! Why not take this opportunity to ask my doctor about banding, I was already going for a medical certificate anyway, may as well make the most of it. So off I went. While it wasn't one of the worst conversations I have ever had to have, it certainly wasn't easy. I'm not one that knows what a real therapy session is like, I normally can handle making sense of my life just fine on my own; but to actually say to someone else that you have a problem and you need help was the biggest thing I have ever done in my life. This coming from someone that is use to having to deal with his own problems and having to open up and to share what I and I'm sure so many you on this journey would consider, their darkest hour. It is hard to admit what you really eat. My GP is very understanding, very supportive of my goal. After the blood tests came back ok, just a slightly fatty liver and nothing else to worry about. We discussed other options and after laying out my life story he sent me away with that next nail blighting task, a referral to a specialist! It sat on the kitchen table for a few weeks, often I would just stare at it, thinking can I do this? Should I do this? It didn't help that some liked the idea and some thought it was a very drastic thing to undergo. But ultimately it is only you that can decide what is right for you, only you know the pain and the suffering that has brought you to this life changing decision. "Hello this is Sue." a soft but welcoming voice came over the phone. "Hi Sue, this is David. I have a referral and I would like to make an appointment." By this time again I was starting to think 'should I just hang up, no be strong, you have to do this'. "Ok great, the earliest appointment I have is in about a month and half, how about Wednesday lunchtime?" I was hoping to get in sooner, stop all that thinking and just get on with the action, now theres just more time to sit and ponder. Do I have a choice? Not really, coming so close to Christmas I just have to take what's available. Damn you referral, you sat there mocking me, making me question but eventually helped me to build up courage. "Oh really, he's that booked out, ok thanks, yes that should be fine." "Ok great I have booked you in with the specialist and the dietitian afterwards. We also have a group information session next week if your interested just to find out more about the procedures, would you be interested?" I needed to know more than what Wikipedia says and some of the horror stories I've Googled! "Yes that sounds interesting, please sign me up!" There it's done, you can relax and stop thinking about it."Ok thanks David, see you soon!"
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Your friends still loved and supported you however as time went by it became harder and harder to find any clothes that fit, let alone any that looked any good. It was the simple things, the little things that broke the straw of my back. Not being able to tie a shoe lace easily, having to be careful to not put your back out getting out of the car, working up a sweat just walking up to the second floor. It is time. Most of my life Iâ€™ve been a big guy, starting in Primary School and the lunches from the corner shop. Starting out as one sausage roll and small Big M to two sausage rolls and a large Big M in the later years. I was a fussy kid, my friends would argue that I still am. Although I think the closer ones would agree that I have spread my wings and started to vary my palate in recent years. Before my school years I would live on frankfurts and mashed potato, hot chips and soft drink. My mother was also a big woman back then, while she did her best to keep me fed, I was too strong for her and she had no choice but to give in. Had I wished she stood firm, yes however I donâ€™t blame her for it, stubborn kids are not easy to deal with and she just wanted to make me happy at the time. By 14 I remember that I was 80Kg, not sure of my height at the time so I canâ€™t give an indication of the BMI I was back then, but I was big; big enough to be singled out at school, high school especially. While I would like to say that I have fond memories of my childhood dreams, there were also the not so pleasant experiences. It was expected, every fat kid gets picked on at school and I usually took it on the cuff of my shirt. It did bother me, but back then there wasnâ€™t much I wanted to do about it and by the time I was a senior I was in a great group of friends that kind of shielded me from those that their only pass time was to barrage the emotional living daylights out of the venerable. By the end of high school I was about 110-115kg, 175cm, giving me a BMI of approximately 37, the Very High Risk categoryâ€¦ By the time I finished University, living away from home I worked my way up to 122Kg and a BMI of 39.8, just a stoneâ€™s throw away from that life changing termâ€¦ Morbid Obesity. Well at that point I made some sacrifices in my life and with the support of a very good friend of mine that played professionally in the NRL, supported and motivated me to make some changes. Well what a time in my life that was! Starting 4thMay 2009 I began a regimented routine of 6 small, relatively healthy meals a day along with around 2 physical boot camp style exercise sessions with my NRL buddy. On the 8th October 2009, just five months later I had lost 10.2Kg. I was a new person! I experienced designer clothes for the first time. I remember the day I was in Sydney and visited my first Industry store. I purchased a pair of size 40 (the largest they make) jeans. That was the best day of my life. I wore those jeans like a badge of honour. Sadly that was to come to a crashing halt and like all good things, they come to an end. I lost my focus and my motivation, but worst of all I lost my support. My buddy that was helping me got contract to play elsewhere and had to move away. I tried to keep up my motivation and determination however I feel that with a combination of not having any more one-on-one support, that someone to keep you motivated and focused, I lost mine. I tried to keep off the bad foods, keep riding to work but it all just fell apart and here I am, 12Kg heavier than when I started, thatâ€™s right folks, 134Kg with a BMI of 44, Morbidly Obese. While this is a sad time in my life, like the phoenix is reborn out of the ashes of its demise, I too will be reborn and starting now I have begun the mission of taking back my body, my life, my soul. Please join me while I take this journey of rediscovery and new heath through the miracle that is gastric banding and the transformation that is about to take place. Fighting the food fight, one band at a time.