"In that first month I lost about 14kg": Life after gastric sleeve surgery
A woman who had 85% of her stomach removed in a life-altering gastric sleeve surgery describes what it's really been like...
Ha ha dudes I just hung with my bestie and her husbo for the day. Bestie spent the day picking hair of my jumper and as you can see THERE'S STILL SOME THERE. Not sure how you guys cope with thin hair - I've never been as thankful to have thick hair. How long does this hair loss thing last? Xx #vsg #vsgcommunity #vsgjourney #wls #wlsstories #wlscommunity #sleeved
In a frank and honest essay, Australian woman Melanie Tait describes the fear that plagued her leading up to the major surgery:
"After I’d been left alone, prepped for surgery, I cried like a baby. So scared. Would I wake up? Was I doing a stupid thing? What if there was a complication?"
Although her surgery was complication-free, the recovery has not been easy, with Melanie describing the fatigue, dizziness and lack of motivation that kept her almost bed-ridden for the first month.
"I pretty much couldn’t eat anything or had the desire to eat or drink much in the first month, and in that first month I lost about 14kg."
With the aid of her brother and family, she gradually began finding the strength and energy to take short walks outside, gradually increasing the distance every day.
She frankly admits the struggles she's faced with food, that forced her to take the drastic step of surgery in the first place:
"The dysfunctional relationship I have with food is still there, but it’s definitely improving. Sometimes I don’t know when I’ve eaten too much, and I’m sick. I hate being sick, so I’ve been learning to slow things down. I’ve pushed things from time to time when I’ve felt emotions that would usually be eaten away. I haven’t been perfect."
She also admits struggling with the idea that she has somehow betrayed or let down other plus-sized ladies by having the surgery.
"Every now and then, I wonder whether I did the right thing having this operation. Whether I let the fat team down, and should I have worked harder to be happy with myself as a fat woman. To fly the flag for happy fat living... The truth is — it’s only been three months and already my life is better."
Documenting her daily meals on her Instagram account, the aptly named 'Melly's Tiny Eats', Melanie shares her food journey with her viewers, as well as milestones and victories in her weight-loss journey.
Melanie has also discovered unexpected new pleasures, like her newfound love for cooking, as well as hiking, an activity she would never have considered before the surgery.
While undertaking gastric sleeve surgery is undoubtedly a dramatic step, for Melanie at least, it's been the right one.
"What I know is for me, three months in, I feel better out there in the world and so it’s been worth it."
P.S. — Sick of struggling? Here are 6 reasons you're not losing weight.