Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A year ago today...

A year ago today, I made the post important decision of my life, to have weight loss surgery.  Some of you may already know this, some of you may have figured it out or some of you had no idea.

I have battled with my weight my entire life and tried many diets, my first one being at age 12, Jenny Craig.  Each diet came with just a bit of success.  The only one I really succeeded in was Sure Slim back in the mid 2000's.  With that one, I lost 25kg in a year and felt great.  Unfortunately that was short lived and I regained that more.

In my late teens, I went and saw Prof Paul O'Brien to discuss lap band surgery, which I had seen on a current affairs program.  I went for the consult and never went back.  I was young and scared and chickened out.  In the mid 2000's, I went to see another Geelong surgeon to again discuss the band.  And again, I chickened out.

Fast forward to November 2011 and I saw another Geelong surgeon to discuss the lap band, except he suggested to me a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or the sleeve.  I really didn't fancy this option as it involves cutting away 2/3 of the stomach and it's gone forever.  I still wanted the band as cutting away stomach is so drastic...and permanent.  I went away to think about things and research more about the sleeve.  I only knew of one other person who had the sleeve, my friend in Perth.

In the meantime, I had to have a sleep study, even though I didn't commit to the surgery, as I didn't know I wanted to go ahead with it.  I also saw a nurse and dietician to discuss the procedure in more detail and to see if I was ready for surgery.

I went back to see the surgeon in February and booked a tentative date for March.  That rolled around but I still wasn't quite ready and cancelled that.  Went and saw my surgeon to just talk things over and I guess for him to reassure me, so once again I booked a new date for 26 June 2012.

And the rest they say, is history.

The surgery only took 1½ hours and it was uneventful and there were no leaks or other complications.

I spent 2 nights in hospital and was discharged home in no pain, well, the only bit of pain I had was from one of the port site wounds, the one from where my excess stomach was pulled out from...ouch.

For the first 2 weeks following surgery, I could only have liquids, so water, soups etc.  Initially I could only manage 2-3tbs of soup.  I was allowed to have water throughout the day to keep my fluids up.  It was a big adjustment, going from a massive meal to something so small as a few tbs at a time.  Some mouthfuls were very uncomfortable and I had pain.

The next 2 weeks was pureed food, the consistency of which could be sucked through a straw.  Then 2 weeks later, I was allowed soft foods before another 2 weeks before I could tolerate a normal diet.

Even to this day, it's still a learning curve.  There are a few rules to follow, which I sometimes break (hey, no one is perfect!).  The main one is food and drink...I can't do both.  I stop drinking 30 minutes before a meal then start drinking 30 minutes after a meal.  If I drink during the meal, it pushes the food through too easily and it'll make me eat more, something that I don't want to do.  My meal capacity is around ½ a cup.  Not much is it?

Now, the all important numbers.

I had to do Optifast for 2 weeks pre op.  My start weight was 128.1kg and in that 2 weeks, I managed to lose 4.6kg, making my start weight on the day of surgery 123.5kg.

As of yesterday, my weight was 75.9kg, a total loss in 12 months of 52.2kg.  I need to lose another 7.8kg to get to my goal weight of 68kg, which both my GP and my surgeon agree with this number.

So what now?  Going to see a dietician in the coming weeks to get some advice on how to stop losing weight.  I have a fair idea, but just want reassurance and to ensure I’m doing the right things.

Due to the rapid weight loss, I’ve developed quite a fair amount of excess skin, which I plan to have removed in June 2014, as my surgeon has recommended I wait a year before considering this.  I’m going to consult with a few plastic surgeons in Geelong just to get opinions on what can be done and how much it’ll cost me…apart from a lot.  Here’s hoping I win the Lotto…or rob a bank…or find a sugar daddy to fund this for me LOL.

So there you have it, my year.  Feel free to ask any questions.  I’ll try and answer them as best I can.

I’ll be adding some before photos as well as some progress photos in the coming days…stay tuned.


  1. Glad to hear it's all going well for you :-) looking forward to the pre/post pics. I think it's great you've adjusted so well, well done!

  2. Fantastic to hear of your progress Nessa, I followed your link from Whirlpool. I can't believe some of the responses to this issue there, they must be sad narrow inflexible people.

    I hope your "new you" is the start to a wonderful life ahead!

    Please keep telling your story and of the joy it has given you.

    Cheerz Wabster

  3. Such an inspiration Nessa, I'm off for my surgery on Oct 24 :) Everyone I know (or read about in your case!) has had amazing results with this.

    Head to the best for the plastic surgery - Dr Tavakoli in Sydney - Australian leader, that's where i'll head :)

  4. Thank you so much for writing your journey down and sharing it with us. I'm going to have tummy surgery at the end of the year. It's easy to find stats and things like that, but reading about how it was emotionally helped a lot. You can't get that from studies.

  5. Woot! I know I'm late to the party but I just wanted to say congrats on how awesome you've done. We've followed a very similar path, I'm just about to hit 12 months sleeved and around the same weight as you now