Sarah has struggled with being overweight and has been wearing men’s 3XL clothes was motivated into losing weight when her daughter delivered the happy news that she would be getting married in 2022.
How being overweight impacted Sarah's quality of life
Sarah had been overweight for a while, and if she went into a shop to find something to wear and found there wasn’t anything in her size she always felt a bit demoralised.
Sarah said: “I had an ongoing problem with my left knee which was contributed to being overweight. I was comfort eating a lot too which led to more weight gain. I had a colleague at work who’d gone to Brazil to have a gastric sleeve fitted but she had the advantage of being Spanish and therefore didn’t have a problem with the language. Whereas, I wished to stay in England so I would be able to understand and feel more comfortable.
“To try to lose weight, I had tried some diets but they had not been successful in fitting around my work and my lifestyle. I work unsocial hours so it’s very difficult to eat healthy, balanced meals and I just felt having surgery was the only option. I knew people who would go on a crash diet, lose two or three stone but then a couple of years later they would be heavier than they were before. Some people were very good and maintained their weight loss, but I just felt like I couldn’t benefit from it that way.
Happy news motivated Sarah to make the change
“We had happy news last year when my daughter said she wanted to get married so I had that extra push to do something about my weight. I didn’t want to have to hide in the background at the wedding.
“To make the decision to come to Benenden Hospital was not an overnight process. When our daughter announced she was getting married I said: ‘yes I’ll get some weight loss surgery so I can look better in the photos’, however, I did take a long time to pluck up the courage to ring up to make the appointment.
Sarah’s experience at Benenden Hospital
“As soon as I spoke to a very friendly lady on the end of the phone I found it reassuring that this was someone who fully understood my need to have weight loss surgery. The appointment was made within a matter of weeks and I came along to see Mr Okaro for my initial consultation.
“I was looking at the cost side of things and had it in my head to have a balloon procedure. But after talking it through with Mr Okaro, I realised I needed to do something permanent. I was given a two week ‘cool-off’ period to decide if I wanted to have the gastric sleeve and I decided to say yes. The gastric sleeve means that part of my stomach was removed so I eat less moving forward – the best decision I’ve ever made.
“When I first approached Benenden Hospital, I had my initial consultation with Mr Okaro. The preparation and guidance I received was very helpful and informative. There was always someone at the end of the phone, appointments came through on time as well as a handy text reminder.
Life after her surgery
“Four months on from surgery, life is a lot better for me. I have lost four and a half stone (30 kilograms) which I am extremely happy about! It has changed my life - I am able to wear clothes I haven’t worn for years, walking is easier and overall, I just feel better within myself. I very much feel like a different person. For example, if I go shopping and I must park in the far side of the car park I don’t mind, because walking is not a problem anymore.
“Since having weight loss surgery, the biggest impact for me has been at work, I am able to walk a lot further instead of jumping in vehicles and cutting corners. I have a very active life; I work full-time in a farm where we grow strawberries in glass houses. It’s an all year-round job so it keeps me busy and as a family we keep sheep which we like to take to country shows. Winning competitions really does help spur you on. Before the operation, if I had to sit down to assist an ewe with a lamb, I found it very difficult to get up.
“My biggest fan is my mother who is 91 years old. I waited until two weeks before my surgery to tell her and so far, she’s been my biggest supporter. She fully understands why I opted to have it done. My friends and family have been very supportive and it’s always nice when they compliment me.
Sarah’s advice for people considering weight loss surgery
“My advice to anyone considering weight loss surgery is get plenty of information, get the necessary background knowledge. It’s also great if you can speak to someone who’s had it done who can give you the full details - the pros and the cons.”
To find out more about our weight loss treatments visit our website.
Published on 24 November 2021