Trish

I had a food addiction. I looked in the fridge or cupboard 100 times per day. I craved food. I loved eating. I weighed 144.5kg. I had a band and now I weigh 85.6kg. I could never live without my band.

I am in my early 30's, I have 3 beautiful little kids, and I used to be a size 26. All I ever used to do with my family was go to movies, drive them to school or sit around the house watching tv. It was an effort to walk them to school. Now I hardly ever sit down. I have energy, loads of energy and can hardly wait to use it. I never watch movies during the day, instead I walk the dog, go to the gym, ride my bike, walk to the shops, walk to the kids' school. I am much happier and more confident. I am not ashamed of myself anymore.

My eldest son started school and he (innocently) told me I was the fattest mum at school. I didn't want to embarrass my kids with this thought for the rest of their lives.

I hated buying the fattest size of the fat clothes. I wanted to be able to shop in a normal shop.

I didn't have any health problems, but still I was always worried about my weight and the problems it would cause. My doctor said I was on track for getting fatty liver.

We went to the Gold coast for a holiday with the kids. I was almost too fat for one of the rides and the attendant had to push the bar down on my fat guts to get it locked in place. And on the plane I almost needed a seat belt extension. This sort of embarrassment was too much. I had to lose weight.

One day, I met someone who had had gastric banding. I was fatter than her! She had lost heaps of weight. I was sick of dieting and was ready to change my life. I decided to have gastric Banding, and so I went to an information seminar on weight loss surgery. And now I have a band.

I was someone who had a food addiction. I looked in the fridge or cupboard 100 times per day looking for something to eat even though I was still chewing on my last snack. I craved food. I loved eating. I would never want to live without my band because of this love of food that is in me. Even now, a few years on, I sometimes find myself looking for something to eat. The band does not control this very well for me. So it is up to me. I know its not worth filling up on junk and I would much rather wait for dinner to eat something healthy. Real food gives a content fullness and the urge to snack goes away. If you eat junk, you get hungry even when there is no room left, and this doesn't feel very nice and you're still craving for something

So I had to learn new tricks. Say you want something like a piece of cake, just so you don't feel like you are missing out, plan what else you are going to eat so you get some healthy food in as well. So you can have your cake and eat it too. Best of both worlds: eat healthy food so you feed your body what it needs, but still have a small treat when you want to feed your mind!

I have lost 60kg with my band, so I have picked up a few tips. You need to be prepared to change you habits, have a supportive network around you (husband, wife, mother, friend), exercise (you'll learn ton enjoy it!), don't ever diet, just eat anything you like in moderation. Then you will never feel like you are missing out and still get to enjoy your food. You need to follow the rules they give you. But these soon become part of your life and it feels natural.

The best part of having a band is getting into a good weight range. I am healthy, and I am teaching my kids to be active instead of sitting on the couch all day.

And I can now wear normal sized clothes! Yes!!!

I eat anything I want but don't gain weight. I love this. My band now has the perfect amount of fluid in it and restricts the volume of my meal to a small size.

The worst part of having the op was my own fear of dying, or that something was going to go wrong. I am thankful every day that I got over that and had the lap band. One day, years after my surgery, my surgeon asked me if I wanted to share my story. And so here it is. I must say I am totally honoured that I was asked to do this. I didn't think I was a total success yet (still working on that!). But I was totally flattered and my ego was a bit inflated after this. Anyway, I hope there is something here that will help you.

I decided to not have my photos put on the net (too shy). But I can tell you I was size 26 and now I am 14 to 16. I weighed 144.5kg. I had a band and now I weigh 85.6kg. I could never live without my band.

And now, I am a lot happier.

(Trish is nearly at her ideal weight. She is clearly already a success story.)