Version 2.0 - South Africa, ZA

At my highest I weighed 200.4kg. Today I weigh...

At my highest I weighed 200.4kg. Today I weigh 124kg. To date, on my bariatric program I have lost 72kg and I am still going strong. My program started 3 months pre-op. My procedure was performed on 27 January 2014 - my 30th birthday! Very fitting: I call it my rebirth!

I have not had one issue, complication or problem. My process has been absolutely textbook. I credit this to:
1) An expert medical team (the Professor who operated and his team, the psychologist, dietician etc)
2) A holistic program including information seminars, "lifestyle training", psychology sessions etc. This very strict program also makes it very safe
3) My absolute commitment to my program and eating plan - to this day (4 months post op) I have not had any sugar or bread or such food items. I can not stress how important this is! Many complications can be avoided by not cheating on your diet program!
4) Being informed and really understanding the procedure and risks and worst case scenarios and the commitment and lifestyle changes needed from me to make this a success ensured that my mindset was correct from the beginning (once again a credit to the program - there is nothing about this that caught me off guard because I was so informed)
5) I was lucky in the sense that absolutely everybody that are close to me (friends, family and colleagues) got on board very quickly. My support structure is huge! Many people do not have that. Add to this day (4 months post op) I still have an available support structure in my bariatric team...I really never felt alone in this at any stage.
6) God/the luck of the draw/fate (whatever you believe in): The fact of the matter is that sometimes you will do everything right and something such as a pulmonary embolism will occur. You have certain base risks with every op and you can mitigate these risks but can never control them completely. In my case God was on my side. (and I was too scared to stay in my bed for longer than 30 minutes at a time for the risk of a blood clot so I was always moving!)

When I say I have had no complications it does not mean that I do not have to deal with certain issues. I had to deal with some constipation. There are foods that I can't stomach. I've swallowed (and still do at times!) too big bites of food and you all know what happens next...foam, vomit reflex...the joys! I still have not eaten steak, I just don't feel ready yet.
But the point I am making is that because I was so well aware of everything that would happen to my body, I took everything in my stride. I have realistic expectations. And when it happens I deal with it in a non-emotional manner. This is after all what I signed up for when I decided to go for the op.

The most important thing is that I am listening to my body, avoiding foods I do not think I am ready for, stopping when my stomach is full, even though I have had a little less than what I am allowed to eat according to my program.

For the first time in my life I am giving my body exactly what it needs. and it shows! Look at my pics! And the amazing thing is, by listening so intently to my body, I have also managed to tune in to my soul. This experience has changed everything about me. For the first time I truly "hear" me and what I want and need, but even more important than that, what I am. And why this is the most important change of all, is because when this happened at 150kg (about 26kg ago), I could let go of the numbers and of the weight and I was content (from a self-acceptance or self-love point of view) with my body at that weight - NOT AT THE WEIGHT I WAS GOING TO BE OR THE WEIGHT I WAS LOSING. This was the most profound change of all. At 150kg I loved myself so much that losing any more weight was a bonus - and still is. It is now purely for health considerations that more weight loss is good. I am perfectly happy with my body. I am proud of my body and I will not mind if I stopped losing weight now, or in 10kg from now or 20kg ago.
So, whenever anybody asks me what my goal weight is, I tell them the story above. And then I say: I have absolutely no goals. I am just doing what I am doing. Sticking to my program. Listening to my body. And whatever my body does with that is okay.

My first wish for you is that you can find the absolute freedom you gain when you have no relationship or emotional ties to food or the scale whatsoever - I have never been this free in my life!
My other wish for all of you is to fulfill your primary goal when you chose this procedure: to lose the weight. But, losing the weight must only be about health and quality of life and absolutely nothing else....which brings me to my biggest wish for all of you..... that this amazing miracle will happen to you that happened to me: and you will absolutely accept and love your body - even at your "high" weight, because then, our battle is truly won...when we realise we are not what we eat. We are so much more. We are beautiful beings with beautiful hearts and beautiful bodies and we have endless capacity to love and heal and nurture and we have amazing capabilities and talents to share with the world.


Yours in love and light!
Estelle

Ps: Ask me any questions if you want regarding my program or the procedure or anything else. Or just comment! I would love to chat!

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Version 2.0 from South Africa - with pics

I forgot to add pics to my review. So here are a few pics. x

7 Comments

Hi, It is quite comforting to hear of someone from south Africa who has done this op. On the 23 Sep it will be my first consultation with the doctor. I am so anxious . After losing ur weight do u have any excess skin. I am trying to get my mind ready
  • Reply
Hi Kirsty, thank you for the compliment! I have been working hard but I also have an amazing support structure. I eat every two hours but small portions. I can eat approximately 250 ml at a time but I mostly don't. I stop whenever I feel satisfied. This can be anywhere from about 100ml to 200 ml. I am not on liquids but I am giving you the amounts in millilitres to give you an indication of the amount of food it is.
  • Reply
Hi Allie, thank you so much. In turn, knowing that inspires me! At the end of the day it does not matter if your journey is not perfect. ..be kind to yourself. Be patient towards yourself. And be loving and caring and forgiving. If you can be absolutely kind to yourself this process will be so much easier. We cut other people so much slack but we are incredibly harsh on ourselves. This makes no sense! We are worthy to be treated kindly by others and more so by ourselves...I will not inflict any more pain on myself, either by eating the way I used to or on the other hand by judging myself and berating myself and hating myself and punishing myself when I do something that I "shouldn't have done" On all levels I am being kind to me. I hope you are being as kind to you too. x
  • Reply
Prof Heine van der Walt

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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