After years of trying and failing to lose weight by various means, I am now going for surgery. Gastric Bypass may seem an extreme solution to those who believe weight loss is simply a case of not cramming cakes in your mouth and moving more than once a week, but to those who fight the good fight every damn day, it’s a lifeline. After meeting other patients, speaking with experts and doing research, I believe this is the best chance I have of undoing the damage I have sustained over the last couple of decades and finally giving myself the life I deserve.

This is not a magic bullet

I am not by any means deluding myself into thinking that weight loss after surgery will be a breeze. I know that at first, it’s going to be tough – six weeks before I’ll be able to eat solids and then I’ll have to be really careful with what I eat and how much I have. I’m doing as much reading as I can about pre-op preparations, the procedure itself, and how life will change afterwards. It’s scary, but the payoff is worth it (as long as I put the work in).

I am going into this with an open mind, but fully aware of the risks. The bypass operation is quite a common procedure these days, and the hospital I’ll be going to (Musgrove Park in Taunton) is considered a Centre of Excellence and the surgeons are known to be the best in their field. So I’ll be in good hands.

What Happens Next

The lovely people at Exeter Medical Obesity Service have been looking after me for the past year. Now the Clinical Lead has given the go-ahead to continue, I shall be spending a few months carrying on as I have been, trying to lose weight with the support of their dietitians and getting exercise advice from their physiotherapist.

In three months’ time the people in charge will meet to discuss if I qualify for funding through the NHS. If that all goes well then I’ll be referred to Musgrove Park for a range of tests to see if, among other things, I’m able to cope with being under general anaesthetic. Then, if that’s all OK, I’ll go on the waiting list. Still quite a way to go then, but I’m getting there.