13 November 2016

My Weight Loss Journey: 5 Years On

Today's post is a little bit more on the personal side, don't worry I still have lots of beauty filled posts in the works, but today I'm discussing the difficult subject of weight loss. If you're a long time reader of this blog you will know that I've struggled with my weight all my life, but I really started piling on the pounds when I went high school, I was the definition of a comfort eater and my vice was sugar!

It's true what they say about sugar being as addictive as crack (not that I know, just putting it out there). I could polish off a whole packet of biscuits secretly in my room, then head down for dinner. I also suffered and continue to suffer with depression, which made things 10 times harder, as it's just a vicious cycle, and one I still struggle with to this day. By the time I was 16, I weighed 19 stone at my heaviest (I know, even now I can't believe it got that far) and had tried every diet under the sun.  5 years ago I decided enough was enough and started looking into Weight Loss Surgery, specifically a Gastric Band.

Why I Decided To Get A Gastric Band, Weight Loss Surgery

I explain my decision a little more this blog post: Why I Decided To Get A Gastric Band but ultimately, the decision was one I thought long and hard about, and in the end I decided it was the one that would benefit me the most. If you're still a bit unsure about what a Gastric Band actually is and what it's used for, just read this article, it explains everything in a lot more detail. 5 years on I thought I would give a little insight into how I found the experience and if I think in the end, it was worth it.

So, how much have I lost? Well, currently I've lost 5 1/2 stone, like most people my weight does fluctuate, but right now it's at a bit of a standstill. For me personally my mental health does have a huge impact on my weight, and I'll be honest, I'm not doing so great right now (but that's a whole other issue) my motivation is waining. But lets rewind back to a few weeks after my actual surgery, it was definitely not all plain sailing, people who think "Weight Loss Surgery" is the easy option, are seriously mistaken. For two weeks afterwards I had to have a purely liquified diet due to all the swelling in your stomach. My mum actually cooked a roast dinner (just chicken and vegetables for me) and put mine in the blender, actually as gross as it sounds it didn't taste that bad haha, though having your surgery a few weeks before Christmas certainly took its toll.

About 3 months after my initial surgery I went back to the doctor for my first "fill" where he injected saline into the band, which is where the restriction comes in. It's such a strange feeling, if you eat too much food you feel a tightening in your chest and need to be sick. It really is a learning curve, discovering your limits, what you can eat and what you can't eat. I'm not gonna lie, I've had to visit restaurant bathrooms way more than I would care to admit. It's not as simple as eating less, food textures also can create problems. Even now 5 years on, it's still a struggle, I recently had 2 mls of saline taken out, as I've been having issues eating protein and carbohydrates, so a bit of weight has crept on, but as my mum keeps telling me when I feel down, where would I have ended up without the surgery?

Why I Decided To Get A Gastric Band, Weight Loss Surgery

This picture was taken in Spain last year, you may have seen it before if you read my Plus Size Fashion Lookbook, which was a huge moment for me. No, I may not look like a "Victoria Secrets Model" or have the perfect "Thigh Gap" but it was a turning point for me, where I would finally allow full body photos. Do I feel 100% comfortable? Absolutely not, there are still a tonne of things I would like to change (one of which I will mention in a minute) but I think my friends and family would all agree that my self confidence has come a long way, and I can only attribute that to the surgery.

The band played a part doing 50% of the work, but I have to work hard at the other 50%, even to this day. It's still a process and struggling with pretty serious depression doesn't make it easy, but I will continue to work at it. At the beginning of this whole process I never thought I would ever be able to fit in size 16 jeans, and I'm currently sat typing in a pair of ripped, size 16, skinny jeans, so it is doable. So if you've thought about Weight Loss Surgery, I say go and inquire about it, talk to your doctor, and most importantly don't let anyone else sway your decision, your happiness is what's important.

However one of the things people don't tell you when you lose a lot of weight is there are a few repercussions, for me that was saggy skin (sorry if this is tmi, but you know #keepingitreal). One of the reasons for me posting this update is that next week I will be undergoing another procedure. Now I know that everyone has their own views on plastic surgery, but for me, I believe if it helps your own personal well being, be it physical, mental or emotional, you should do whatever you need to do... So, next week I am finally getting a breast reduction. They have been a huge (no pun intended) drain on my body, both physically and mentally, and I really need a self confidence boost, so Wednesday is D Day (pun intended!) Instead of keeping it secret I wanted to again, share my experience because I'm sure a lot of women are in the same boat.

I apologise for the length of this blog post, but I actually found writing it quite cathartic, especially as it's not something I would have initially talked about publicly. I really want to erase the stigma surrounding "Weight Loss Surgery" it's definitely not taking the easy option, it takes pure hard work and determination, you just have a bit of added help.


If any of you have any questions or need a talk to someone, you can definitely tweet or email me, I am more than happy to help.

XOXO Claire
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10 comments

  1. Brilliant post. Sharing information like this is so important and helpful to so many people. You have come so far! Best of luck with your operation on Wednesday and I really hope that it helps to boost your confidence further xx

    Beautylymin

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  2. I've never struggled with my weight myself, but I really appreciate how honest, personal and heartfelt this post was, Claire. Naturally, we've all felt down about our body image at one point or another, I don't know any girl who hasn't, though I can't even imagine what it's like for it to be a lifelong battle. There's no shame in having had a gastric band done, especially knowing that you're doing all that you can to lose weight yourself, and there's actually a lot of research out there that says losing weight and keeping it off a lot harder than you think, even no matter how much you exercise and eat healthy. A lot of it is to do with your metabolism, which isn't always in your control. It's sad how much stigma there is around both gastric bypass and cosmetic surgery. I mean, who are we to judge what's going to make a person happier and more confident in life?

    All the best for your breast reduction, Claire! I hope you start to feel like the real you soon. :)

    Tenneil | Like Neon Love

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  3. This is such a great post, I'm glad to see you've done so well with the band and your own determination!

    Abigail Alice x

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  4. I had no idea you'd gone through any of this! you're so brave to talk about it online! I'm glad you're doing so well :)

    http://claresloves.blogspot.com/

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  5. Aww thank you, I was nervous to post this but I'm so glad I did, I feel like a weight has been lifted (no pun intended haha) :)

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  6. Thank you so much Tenneli, weight is such a touchy subject and I was a little nervous about posting this, but the response has been so lovely and supportive, it really means the world to me! :)

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  7. Awww thank you Abigail, surgery sounds like the easy option but in reality it's a lot harder than people think, I just wish there was less of a stigma attached :)

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  8. Thank you so much Claire, it's definitely not something I mention a lot, but I try to make my blog as real as possible and even though it was tough to write, I actually felt so much better afterwards!

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  9. I love how real you are, and although this is the first time that I've ever read your blog; I'm so proud of you. I think your body is beautiful, and I really wish I could style you for my portfolio! I'm sharing this post on my facebook as I know a few people who have been struggling with their weight. Ignore those people who judge as long as you feel good about yourself. Keep us informed with your further journey <3

    www.sashabahirwani.com

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  10. Awww thank you so much, it's comments like these that make typing up a "scary" themed blog post worth it :-)

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