• My Weight Loss Journey

    My Weight Loss Journey

    Originally published: June, 2015.
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    Occupation: Primary school teacher
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    Hobbies: Reading, travelling and exercising
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    When did you first come to Cardinia Physio and Fitness? I first came to Cardinia Physio and Fitness in September/October 2012. I came shortly after Larna opened after my GP recommended her to me.
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    Why did you come to Cardinia Physio and Fitness? I wanted to improve my fitness and to lose weight.
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    Weight loss to date? I have lost 50 kilograms so far. I am hoping to lose another 10 kilograms in the next few months and to keep it off for the rest of my life.
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    How have you done it? I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy on 19 August 2014. This along with a change in my lifestyle has helped me to lose this amount of weight. I am eating healthier and enjoying exercising every day. This is a huge change for me.
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    What made you decide to change to a healthy lifestyle? In December 2013 I was treated for a blood clot in my right leg. I asked the specialist about making sure this didn’t happen again. His answer was to lose weight. My mum couldn’t believe that I took on the advice of a stranger to change my life. If I didn’t have the blood clot, things may have been different. I also had the threat from my GP, that the way I was going, I would soon be a diabetic. My blood pressure was too high and I was wearing a size 26.
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    What was unhealthy about your old lifestyle? I was eating the wrong type of food – lollies, chocolate, take away food and drinking soft drinks. I wasn’t exercising enough. My meals weren’t big but my snacks were the wrong type of snacks. I have made changes that will help me in the long run – like not going to the milk bar to buy lollies.
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    What have you tried in the past to ‘get healthier’? I have tried Gloria Marshall, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, watching my food intake and keeping a food diary while attending a local GP. I also walked when I could, took part in water aerobics and step classes and also Scottish Country dancing.
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    Why did you decide to have surgery? At one stage you were determined you would not have surgery? I looked into the type of surgery I needed and discussed it with my GP. I then rang up the surgeon and had my first consultation with him. I was impressed with what he said he could do to help me gain my goal of being a healthier person. This was the trigger I needed to make the commitment. At first I thought I could do this on my own but it wasn’t working so I took the huge step of having the surgery. I am so glad I took this big step. It was the best decision I have made in the last 10 years. I wish I did it 10 years ago but I probably wouldn’t have made it successful.
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    What has been the biggest challenge since your surgery? My biggest challenge is adjusting to how much food I can take in before I feel full. This has slowly become a lot easier to recognise. I now know when I have to stop. I also found it difficult to accept compliments from people when they told me how great I was looking. I can now accept the comments and say thank you to people when I hear these comments. I want the students I teach to know that if I eat healthy food and exercise I am healthy and I want to be a role model for them. I want my family to be proud of me at the same time. I lacked confidence before but I believe this is slowly changing.
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    What keeps you motivated to keep training? I am motivated to remain healthy, as I am going to be 50 on my next birthday. I enjoy buying smaller sized clothes and I am proud of my achievement so far. The support of Larna, Kate, Dave and Jen has been great also. I enjoy taking part in the classes and have met some great people at Cardinia Physio and Fitness. Thanks everyone.
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    What training or fitness are you doing at the moment? I attend 2 Cardio classes and 1 Pilates class at Cardinia Physio and Fitness per week (total of 3 classes per week) as well as walking on the weekends.
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    How has the surgery changed your life? It has changed me physically as well as emotionally. I feel that I have so much more energy. My health has changed – blood pressure down, diabetes threat removed and I am enjoying life so much more. The weight I am at the moment is the lightest I have been for more than 20 years. It is great. I cannot believe it sometimes.
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    What has been the most rewarding thing about losing weight and improving your fitness? The enjoyment I have in exercising. It is not a chore. I look forward to exercising and losing weight. I want to lose about another 10 kilos. This is hard now. I have to work really hard and try to exercise every day. I can now buy nicer clothes in a smaller size. I bet the Diabetes Foundation love me calling them every few months with more clothes as I am continually buying more clothes when I lose more weight. It is such a great feeling to wear a pair of jeans or slacks with a zip, not pull on pants.
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    Would you recommend others to have gastric sleeve surgery? I would recommend this surgery. It is important to have the right thoughts about what is going to happen. You have to see a psychologist before the surgery to make sure the patient understands what is going to happen and how to react to the changes – people commenting etc. The team at Lap Surgery Australia have been great. They will monitor my progress now every year for the next ten years.
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    What can you do now, that you couldn’t do in the past? I can walk without feeling out of breath. I can sit on the floor with my students and play games. I can feel happy about myself and my future. I only wish my dad could see me now. He passed away in January 2015. I hope that he is proud of me.
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    How has your fitness journey changed you? I am enjoying doing more fitness and challenging myself. I am hoping to take part in a group session
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    5km walk/run soon. I would never before thought about doing this but I want to push myself to see how I go.
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    What was your goal of having the surgery and committing to a healthy lifestyle? My goal was to get healthy and to live a full life for the next 30 years at least.
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    Have you got any advice to others in the same situation as you are now/were previously? My advice would be to take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask “Are you happy how you look? If not, do something about it now!” If you are happy, try to eat less and exercise more.
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    Anything else that we may find interesting or that may benefit others? The surgery doesn’t stop from you from socialising. It makes you think more about what you can eat and drink. When I go out for dinner, I have to order a kids meal and sometimes these meals are too big. I can’t drink and eat at the same time. So I have to choose what I want first and then wait a while for my choice to go down. Don’t let it get to a stage where your life is at risk. Do something about your health today not tomorrow!