I have been overweight since I could remember. In my 20s I decided to try to get myself to a healthy weight, for me, for my confidence, and my mental health. I gym almost every day for an hour. I did the banting diet diligently. After almost a year of absolute focus, I had barely lost around 6kg. This just gutted me, and I returned to my previous ways in my late 20s.
During this period I broke up with my partner of 10 years. To be suddenly single, lonely, and overweight took its toll. Eventually getting up to 145kg over COVID19 lockdown in my early 30s. My mental and physical health was at the lowest point it has ever been.
Something needed to change. I needed to change. But I needed help, a kickstart if you will.
I started researching things that could give me a kickstart. I came across bariatric surgery. It looked pretty scary, but I decided I needed to make the scary decisions to save myself from myself.
I spoke to my friends first, they all supported my decision and said they thought it was extreme, but they supported it and myself unconditionally. I then spoke to my family about it. Having been with me on my journey with my weight battle my whole life and know how hard I have tried. I gave them lots of information on the surgery and explained the whole process. Once they understood, they were supportive and just wanted me to be happy and achieve my dreams. I then spoke with my bosses at work and they were also super supportive and gave me time off to go through this process.
Dr Du Toit, Funnel & Partners guided me throughout the whole process and ensured I saw all the best medical professionals to assess me and make sure I was making the right decision for me and my body. No seriously, I have never seen that many medical specialists before in my life.
The most difficult thing for me during the pre-operation assessments was the gastroscope. It was not my finest hour and I think gave Dr. Du Toit grey hairs in trying to get the scope down my throat but I got through it, and being on the other side now, I would go through another 100 gastroscopes if meant I got to have the surgery.
Leading up to the surgery I was a bundle of nerves and almost pulled the plug on it a few times. But by the day of the surgery, I was determined to do it.
I remember I was actually dreaming; I can’t remember what I was dreaming about but I was pretty into it. I remember then being jerked awake by one of the nurses and doctors, I remember being quite irritated that they woke me up!
I opened my eyes and I was in the recovery room. They asked me if I was in any pain and I said no because I genuinely wasn’t in any pain. I was however extremely nauseous, which I did communicate with them about and they did give me drugs to help combat it. I was wheeled back to my room. The nausea lasted about 24 hours; I presume it was probably due to the anesthesia. I was however still able to go to the toilet under my own steam every single time.
The next day I was up and about and walking around the hospital and being cheeky to the nurses in the ward. If you are a light sleeper like I am, however, do not expect to get much sleep, a hospital is a noisy environment and nurses are constantly checking on you which is their job. Just go with it and get your strength back. The Surgeons, Doctors, Nurses, and the entire staff at Netcare St Augustine’s hospital are caring, friendly, and highly professional, even during the COVID19 pandemic at no point did I feel that my medical health was being compromised at all. Comply and allow them to do their jobs.
I walked myself out of the hospital exactly two days after the surgery. I went home and slept for like several years, but after that I was good to go and continue with my life. By the 4th day out of the hospital, I was driving around and going to the shops like normal.
I am now 3 months post-operation and I have never experienced any pain whatsoever. All one has to do is learn how to treat your new stomach and what it likes and doesn’t like and you will be fine, post-surgery it’s all on you and your mental game to adjust to your new body and your new life.
I am 3 months post-surgery. I am the happiest I think I have ever been in my adult life. I have lost 32kg so far. The effects on my body, my mental health, and my confidence have just been absolutely stratospheric.
I am lighter not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. For the first time in my life, I am in control of what I put in my body, and now I only put healthy nutrient-dense things in my body, because I eat so little, my body only wants nutritious food. Your mental strength is just to listen to your body and just go with it. In the first few weeks, your brain is still trying to figure out what’s going on. It may be confused and send signals regarding craving certain foods that you used to enjoy. You will soon learn that what your brain thinks is what’s versus what your stomach can handle are two different things.
Eventually, after a couple of weeks your brain ‘catches up with your new stomach and you start experiencing this synergy. Your energy levels increase. By this stage, you should be trying to do around 5-6000 steps a day. Buy a smartwatch, start counting your steps. In the beginning, it was hard. I’m not going to lie.
But now, I’m up at 5 am and the first thing my body wants to do is run around and experience life. None of my existing clothes existing fit me anymore (well besides my shoes), even my rings are falling off my fingers, I have started to actually care about my personal appearance, I am wearing tight smarter clothes, putting more effort into taking care of my skin, and I have the confidence to walk around in public with my head held high.
On my current trajectory, I stand to be at a healthy weight 6 months post-surgery. Once I get there, I will throw the most insane party. Then after that set my next goal, which is to try get abs, something I never thought I would ever be thinking about, like ever.
The surgeons operated on my stomach and colon, but they changed and upgraded my mind.