At his heaviest Terry Barber thought he reached 25 stone - the problem was his scales only went up to 23 stone so most of the time the only thing showing on the dial was ERROR!
Fourteen stones lighter and preparing to take part in his first marathon, Terry says his decision to have weight-loss surgery has changed his life completely.
The 41-year-old banker from Rayleigh in Essex said: “I completed my first half marathon in October and I now have my eyes on the Brighton Marathon in April. When I think back to the 25 stone me I just can’t believe I ever let myself get to that weight.
Terry had tried endless diets and weight-loss regimes without success before he looked into the surgical option. “I had tried just about everything but, to be perfectly honest, I just lacked the self-discipline – the moment I wasn’t concentrating on being on a diet I found I was eating something! In the end my daughter Katie being worried about her daddy’s ‘big tummy’ is what made me decide I had to take some other type of action.”
Terry met with Consultant Bariatric Surgeon Mr Kesava Reddy Mannur at the Spire Wellesley Hospital in Southend, when it was decided he would benefit most from a gastric sleeve operation.
Mr Mannur said: “Like so many people in Terry’s situation he had tried almost every diet available but without success. He was caught in a vicious circle – his weight was increasing while his ability to exercise was getting less and less. He was actually dangerously overweight and very keen to do something about it so I suggested that a gastric sleeve would be his best choice of treatment. The operation is a minimally invasive procedure with most patients staying in hospital for a couple of nights - in fact, Terry only spent one night in the hospital. It is a highly-skilled procedure where three quarters of the stomach – including the area which contains ghrelin, known as the ‘hunger hormone’ - is removed. By reducing the stomach capacity as well as the desire for food, we give the patient a great chance of successfully losing weight.”
Terry says “Before the operation I’m afraid beer and pizza were my weaknesses, but afterwards my eating regime changed completely. Now I keep an eye on what I am eating and really see food as a fuel rather than a pastime. I eat regularly and keep the portions small. I then eat the protein element first and then the vegetables and carbs. High-density protein foods really fill me up quickly with half an average chicken breast leaving me full".
“I joined a gym and at first concentrated on weight training to avoid muscle loss as I started losing weight but, as I got fitter, I decided that I would like to be able to complete a 5km run. It was a slow and frustrating start but, after a while, I decided to just go for it and run 5k – the goal was to complete the route no matter how long it took me. From there I built up my distance and my speed until, last October I completed a half marathon in one hour and fifty eight minutes.
Now weighing in at just over 11 stone Terry who is targeting the Brighton Marathon in April says his life has changed for the better in so many ways. “One of the best things is I can now keep up with my daughter when we are playing games, we all love going for family bike rides and I don’t break out in an embarrassing sweat at the first sign of exercise. I know some people manage to lose a lot of weight through diet and exercise and every credit to them for doing that – but I couldn’t do it and I knew I needed extra help if I was ever going to have a healthy life".
“The sleeve operation has proved absolutely perfect for me and I can’t thank Mr Mannur enough for his help, his advice and his surgical skills - my plans to run a marathon would never have got off the ground without him!”