A Worcester mum-of-two says she is bursting with energy after dropping seven dress sizes in a year.
Classroom assistant Beverley Phillips, of Warndon Villages, shed more than seven stone after having gastric band surgery at Spire Parkway Hospital, Damson Parkway, Solihull, West Midlands.
Beverley, who used to get out of breath just walking up the stairs, topped the scales at 17 st 12 lb in 2008, when she decided enough was enough.
She plucked up the courage to undergo weight loss surgery – and hasn’t looked back ever since.
Beverley, 5ft 3ins, who was a size 24, is now a svelte size 10. She now maintains a healthy weight of 10-and-a-half stone.
Beverley said: “I always struggled with my weight. I wasn’t an obese child but I was always a bit too heavy. The weight really started to creep on in my late teens and early twenties. I did no exercise and I ate large portions of unhealthy food and after a time it took its toll.”
Beverley put on even more weight after having her two children, Charlotte and Oliver. And despite trying several diets, including Slimming World and Weight Watchers, she struggled to shed the extra pounds.
"I hated myself,” she said. “When I looked in the mirror I just felt gross. I wanted the procedure done for a long time and now just over 17 months later I’m so happy I went through with it.”
Weight loss surgeon, Mr Paul Super, who performs 400 gastric band operations a year on average, said: “This is now the most popular weight loss operation in the world today – mainly because it is the safest.
“The surgery takes around 30 minutes to complete and more than half of our patients go home the same day. It is not a ‘quick fix’, but rather an aid to weight loss. The band helps patients to feel less hungry so dieting is made easier. Complying with follow-up advice is also extremely important to maximise weight loss.”
Beverley’s operation was conducted on a Thursday and she was able to return to work at Nunnery Wood Primary School the following Wednesday.
During the procedure an adjustable band was placed around the top of her stomach. The band, which restricts the amount of food that can be eaten, was fitted through five small incisions using keyhole surgery techniques.
“I wasn’t scared at all before I had the operation,” said Beverley. “The Parkway team were all really good and my surgeon, Mr Super, was great.
“I had follow-up appointments at Spire Parkway Hospital with Sue Bridgwater, the dietician, and she was fantastic. I used to be able to text or email her at any time and she would always get back to me.”
Beverley said she feels that she has been given a new lease of life by the Spire Parkway gastric band team, which comprises of radiologists, dieticians and specialist nurses, in addition to weight loss surgeons.
“I’m now able to do so much more with my children, whereas before I just didn’t have the energy. And I’m a much better role model for them now because I’m so active. It must have put 20 years on my health. The difference is amazing,” said Beverley, who now exercises three or four times a week.
“People I know but haven’t seen for a while walk past me in the street and don’t recognise me.
“I feel great – I’ll never go back to how I was before.”