Natalie

I did something about my weight.

 

How do you summarize the best thing you've ever done for yourself? Words don't seem to really do justice to how grateful I am that I did something about my weight.

ps natalie-beforeI'd fooled myself for many, many years by telling me and everyone else, "It's ok, I'm happy being the fat funny friend" but deep down I think we all knew that was a lie.

Like many people I've jumped on and off the band-wagon of diets, pills, weight loss programs, but nothing really lasted or had any great impact on my life. As a teenager I was pretty fit and active but finishing school coincided with moving out of home to go to uni, regular exercise ceased and I just seemed to begin the spiral into bad habits.

ps natalie-afterI toyed with the idea of weight loss surgery but it was all very daunting, I asked my parents to come along to an information session with me. They were supportive, if not a little scared themselves. I got a good idea of what was going on, but something was still holding me back.

The shop assistant looked me up and down and said "You need to go over there" and pointed to what I call the Dame Edna Moo Moo collection. I was devastated.

It was almost like I felt a failure having not been able to control my weight and needing surgery to do it. So I tried the old diets and attempted exercise again, determined to do it on my own, but with borderline type 2 diabetes, losing weight is not an easy thing to do by yourself. However, it wasn't until my cousins wedding in 2008 that I hit rock bottom. I went dress shopping with my two best friends, we started at a large well known department store, I found a beautiful simple blue dress which only seemed to have size 8 left on the rack.

 

ps natalie-after1 I asked the shop assistant what size the dress went up to, she looked me up and down and said "you need to go over there" and pointed to what I call the Dame Edna Moo Moo collection. I was devastated and my friends were appalled. But this is what it had come down to, I couldn't find a nice dress to go to my cousins wedding, I ended up having to trek all the way out to a specialist store. On the night I felt pretty good, I thought I looked quite pretty, and then I saw the photos. The family shots as well as the candid ones on the dance floor - I looked unwell, unfit and most of all unhappy. I knew I had to do something. So I did, and I've never looked back.

It certainly hasn't been easy, it's not a quick fix, it is a lifestyle change and I certainly no longer see having surgery as a failure, it's been my ally. I've had my fears along the way. Such as what will the scar be like? I can sometimes feel the port (can anyone else?), but to tell you the truth, the scar is fading quickly and no-one has commented on it. And no one has felt the port, not even in the tightest of bear hugs. I have my closest friends who know I've had the surgery, ask to feel it and they've commented that it's no big thing. The beauty of it is, you see and feel the results quickly, which keeps you motivated. I soon remembered how much I liked being active and I'm now a keen runner and love boxing too. You are motivated by the scales showing your loss as well your clothes beginning to fit you and then become too loose for you!

I allow myself my little treats, but I know now that it's all about energy in and energy out and I can feel the difference. I've had my setbacks along the way, where I slacked off on the exercise, but it doesn't take long to get back on track and regain your motivation.

It's all about energy in and energy out

I needed that extra bit of help and the adjustable gastric band worked for me, having the regular consultations and finding the right level of adjustment was very beneficial.

At my biggest I was 121kg, at my smallest so far I was around 78kg, I hover now around the 80kg mark after going back up to 85kg, but I'm still aiming for 75kg. I love now being the fit funny friend and my friends and family ask me for exercise and nutrition advice!