I am 6 foot 2 and I have always been slightly overweight. Up until the age of 24, I weighed around 18 stone but when I hit my mid-20’s, I started to get bigger.
"I feel like I have been
given a second chance at life and I am thoroughly enjoying it!"
Simon, Gastric Bypass Patient
I don’t think I was really aware of how overweight I was becoming – although I eventually had to leave my job as a delivery driver because I found it too difficult loading and unloading the deliveries.
I became a driving instructor which meant that I was even less physically active and the pounds continued to pile on. I have always enjoyed my food and would regularly tuck into a cooked breakfast, fish and chips and savoury pastries.
However, it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with sleep apnoea following a routine assessment with an anaesthetist prior to a wisdom tooth operation that I fully appreciated the extent of my weight problem.
I had noticed that I was tired for much of the time but I put this down to the stress of my job. After the sleep apnoea diagnosis, I realised that the exhaustion was due to chronic sleep deprivation as a result of being significantly overweight.
A visit to my doctor revealed that I weighed 31 stones. I was shocked, I had no idea that I weighed that much. In addition to the sleep apnoea, I was also diagnosed with high blood pressure and my doctor explained that I was at serious risk of developing diabetes.
I had dieted in the past but always put the weight back on. I then tried weight loss medication prescribed by my doctor but I found the side effects too disagreeable and I couldn’t continue with them.
My GP referred me to Professor Peter Lodge and before I met him, I was expecting to feel slightly intimidated! As a normal, working man, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to relate to a ‘Professor’. However, I soon realised that Pete Lodge isn’t remotely intimidating – he is quite the opposite. From the word go, I felt comfortable with him – he is the type of person that I could easily sit and chat with over a pint or two in the pub!
Professor Lodge confirmed that a laparoscopic gastric bypass would be the best surgical option for me. He recommended that I try and lose some weight before the operation and I managed to lose four stones.
I was 49 when I had the operation in December 2010. I was only in hospital overnight and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I recovered.
Within a month I was eating normal food – just much smaller portions. I can no longer overeat - so I don’t feel tempted to. I allow myself the odd ‘treat’ – but much less frequently and on a smaller scale.
I am currently just over 17 stones and I am hoping to get to about 16 stones. It is hard to describe just how differently I feel nowadays! In addition to the health benefits (I no longer have sleep apnoea or high blood pressure), I am so much more self-confident. I love life!
I can go on holiday and lay on a sun-bed without being self-conscious. I wear shorts, I go night-clubbing, I play football with my grandchildren – I even take them sledging!
I feel like I have been given a second chance at life and I am thoroughly enjoying it!