I’m on a few groups to do with the surgery – actually, with all three types of surgery available due to the medical trial I am taking part in, the “By-Band-Sleeve” trial (Bypass, Band, Sleeve). More about the trial another time.

I’ve been on the groups for over a year now. Many of them are USA based, but some are British, and one in particular for the area I live in. It’s fascinating to read about others journeys with the procedure, the success stories and the ones not doing so well – because yes, with the surgery, you can still “fail”. Actually I hate that word. Being fat, you already feel as though you have failed throughout your adult life, and sometimes before that – you failed at every diet you ever started, you failed to keep the weight off, you failed to get onto that fairground ride, you failed to run that marathon…

I’m trying to change my mindset on the F word…from Fail to Believe – Succeed. I look at the photos,the before and after ones of the folk on the groups, and I’m astounded – and scared, too – that that will be me. That I will, in a short space of time, look so different. I’ve looked totally different from losing weight before and some of the reactions I got, I really struggled with. When I did the VLCD about 9 years ago, and lost several stones, I was stood in the school playground one day when a dad came up behind me, rested his chin on my shoulder and muttered “can you get my wife doing whatever you’re on”. I jumped out of my skin and had absolutely no idea what to say in reply. Another neighbour who I greeted in a shop clearly had no idea who I was, but later that night knocked on the door and apologised to my husband (!) for not recognising me. I found these incidents really embarrassing – I’m still “me” whether I am fat or thin, and the knowledge that people treat you differently based on your ice is not something that sits well with me.

So, combined with the belief that I will succeed 100% at what I’m doing and the gift I have been given, is the fear that it will change those around me, it will change how others see me, and it will change my friendships and relationships with those I am closest to. That, I find scary. A lot of what I read is about how the marriages haven’t survived one or other of them having surgery, their friends have vanished, folk are not friendly any more. I wonder why – surely there had to be something wrong to start with for these things to happen? This is one reason I’m being so open and honest about what I have done, and am doing. A friend told me that one of HER friends has had the surgery yet claims to everyone she has lost the weight through slimming world, and it has made her lose respect for her – whether to be open about it or not i a personal choice, I think most people hide the decision for fear of public ridicule or being thought of as weak, or taking the “easy option”.

“Easy option”. My God, it is anything but the easy option. The easy option…that’s quite funny actually.

Believing – Turning the F word around. In all honesty, I believe in me. I can do this.



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