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First Surgiversary - my year in review.


Active Member
So I can barely believe that its been a year now since my op. This is going to be a long post, lol.

This time last year I was trying to sleep, I was terrified. Would I survive the op? Would I get one of a number of very real complications, either during the op or after? What kind of effect would the op have on me? What would I be able to eat afterwards? Would it even work? I never wanted the op, I wanted to lose the weight on my own. But I knew that I couldn't do it without serious intervention. I was an addict, totally reliant on my chosen drug - food. I hated what I considered my monstrous appetite, and desperately wanted to change the relationship I had with food. For me this op was more than about loosing weight, it was my opportunity to develop a healthier relationship with eating. So I made the journey to St Richards in Chichester, and I had my guts rerouted.

So as it turned out, the op went well, no complications, I was up and walking around the ward less than two hours later. I recovered well, I took my time and looked after myself. I followed the rules, and worked my way through the stages. Energy was a problem at first, and I kept getting sudden drops in energy for nearly 3 months. But that resolved, and I returned to work and haven't had a single day off since.

I have no problems eating anything, so I now have the diet I always dreamed that I could maintain - balanced and moderate. I have a high tolerance to sugar, so the odd sweet thing I enjoy, but do mildly dump if I go overboard. So far my nutritional screens have come back with no deficiencies. I am careful with my supplementations, and rarely miss a dose. I am terrified of developing a deficiency. so prevention is better than a cure. My hair did start falling out at 18 weeks, but within the last 2 months its stopped. I'm getting a few people comment on all my new 'baby hair', so its reassuring to know its growing back.

At my highest weight I was 25st 12lbs, whilst on orlistat 2 years ago I got down to 20st, but ballooned back up to 23st 13lb when I stopped taking it. This was my weight the day I had my pre op. I lost 16lbs on my 15 day milk diet (I did an extra day by choice). My BMI was 59.

So a year later, I am 14st 2lbs, with a BMI of 35, and I have achieved 70% excess weight loss since my pre-op weight. At my highest size I was a 32, but was mostly a 28 in the years proceeding the operation. I am now quite comfortably a 16 - with even some 14s creeping into my wardrobe. Oh and I've gone down two shoes sizes too!

I'm a little miffed, as my aim was to loose 10st by my surgiversary, but I'm 3lbs short! I seem to stall for weeks and weeks now, and literally only loose weight once a month. My current stall is 3 weeks long so far. I want to continue loosing, albeit slowly, as my body dictates it now. My aim is to get my BMI below 30, I don't know if I will get there. I have long since accepted that I will not get to 100% EWL.

The real day to day changes in me are harder to pinpoint. I am reliably told that my personality hasn't changed at all. I have been an outgoing and self assured person all my adult life, so I guess that's why. But activity is so much easier, in fact would go as far to say that since I have been under 15 stone, my body has almost craved physical activity. I always wanted to be an active person, and I'm well on my way now.

The skin issue is an interesting one. Some parts of me (my face, bum, legs, shoulders) have escaped very lightly, other areas (upper arms and abdomen) are horrendous. I'm not shy, and I do use my tummy cleavage as my new party trick. But sometimes I feel a little sad about it because its like a shadow of my former weight that is always with me. It can make it difficult to see the changes in my body, because the skin can mask it. My current stance is that I will try and self fund for my arms to be done, and hope that NHS funding will change in the future for my tummy.

Am so lucky to have an amazing husband. He has been there with me every step of the way. He wanted me to have the surgery more than I did. He's followed my new diet with me, and shed 3 stone too! He always encourages me to exercise, and we go on long walks together. He has finally got me to join his gym next week - as my birthday present apparently!

The main motivating factor in my having surgery was to improve my fertility, I have PCOS and my husband and myself tried for a year to conceive without any luck. I will be charting this journey in another thread, so will leave it there. But what I will say is, before I thought it was impossible, now I dare to dream that we can have our family one day.

Ok, I think I have to bring it to an end - told you it was going to be long. I could go on and on. I dont regret anything, so far I have had an excellent result. And its an amazing journey of self discovery beyond loosing weight. Everyday when I get up is a new battle, but I feel like everyday I am the victor.

I am always happy to talk to people who are new to all of this, and if anyone wants to ask me questions feel free to message me.
Congrats Fiona, you've done fantastic! So pleased for you, and I'm sure you'll have your 10 stone any day now - don't let it niggle at you.
Wow congratulations you have done so well
Well done Fiona! I've plateaued for about three months now, down a pound or two, then up a pound or two, and I still have about 10 lb to go BUT it feels so good to be in this range rather than the hopeless feeling I used to have when very overweight. Enjoy your life and hopefully your dream of motherhood will arrive soon, good luck!
Very, very well done.

I won't write too much as I have my 1st year Surgiversary post to do on Saturday but there will be so many similarities it's untrue!! xx
What a great post!! Well done you have done fantastically. I had a bypass a week ago and reading this has again confirmed that I have made the right choice. Very inspirational. I wish you all the luck in the world with starting your family! Well done :) x
what a fab achievement in your year :) well done to you x
Congratulations. May I ask you about the hair loss? Was it visible?

Really I was very fortunate, it was really only noticeable to me. Your hear of people saying they loose it in clumps, but it was just a heavy sheding really. And it does grow back.
Thank you everyone for your kind words and encouragement. Your support over the last year has been invaluable. Its hard not to compare, especially in the early days. But we all have our individual paths to tread, it can be hard to come to terms with that at times. I don't feel like I've done anything participially inspiring, because once you get on this roller-coaster, you have no choice but to just keep going - otherwise what would be the point. I do get embarrassed sometimes. At work last night a nurse from another ward came running up to me - she said: " Oh Fiona, I've lost 30 pounds, you are my inspiration" - did not know what to say!

I truly am happy with where I am now, and I'm looking forward to the year ahead.

Sue, I'm really looking forward to reading your surgiversary post :)
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Very, very well done. I won't write too much as I have my 1st year Surgiversary post to do on Saturday but there will be so many similarities it's untrue!! xx

I am with you Lincs Lass. My journey is very similar also. Hasn't it been a great year thou!
Congratulations on your surgiversary!! And well done on the weight loss!! And sooo much good luck for your future! Xxx

When I wrote this post I wanted to include inches lost, but I couldn't find my original measurements. I have found them today, so here they are:

Neck: was 19in, now 15in -4
Bust: was 53in, now 40in. -13
Waist: was 51in, now 35in -16
Hips: was 62in, now 45in. -17
Each thigh: was 33in, now 23in -10x2
Upper arms: was 23in, now 13in. -10x2

that is a heck of a lot of inches lost. dont think i have ever really worked it out before.
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Well done . You are a real inspiration , Im in my 3 rd week after op and you've really made me feel better that it really can work . I've had loads of doubts .I've had the sleeve . So thank you for sharing your journey so far . x
Thought id post a photo update. Im now 13st 10lbs. This photo was taken on thurs in my hen do get up

You doing fabulous, you have come such a long way stay strong I know its difficult at the moment but you will move forward and things happen when you least expect them too. x