In 2004 Alison, from Devon, received a cheque from her insurance company in settlement of a claim for a motor vehicle accident in which she suffered multiple injuries. She and her husband decided the best use of the money would be to do something that would really make a big difference to Alison’s life, in fact to the life of the whole family. For years Alison had struggled to get her weight under control, and without being able to exercise as easily after her accident, her weight ballooned to 112kg (17½ stone) and her BMI was 42.2. At the age of 37, she was also already suffering a number of health problems associated with her obesity; high blood pressure, high cholesterol and she was told she was on the verge of developing type 2 diabetes. She elected to have a laparoscopic RNY gastric bypass operation done privately which she did on 9th November 2004.
"I haven’t looked back" says Alison. "My cholesterol and blood pressure are both now down again but the biggest change has been in my personality, which has changed completely. Instead of being too embarrassed to go, out I am now quite the opposite, I am very complete extrovert. I look forward to socialising and now have the confidence to face any situation."
Alison works as a nursery nurse and the weight loss has had a positive impact on her working life too, giving her much more energy to do her job. “I have no problem bending down now and I actually have a lap for the children to sit in” laughs Alison.
Alison's husband says that it has taken quite a lot to get used to her changed personality – "Her weight loss happened so fast and in less than 12 months she has gone from being so shy and introverted to the complete opposite – it is quite hard to keep pace with her” he says. Her children, however, love it – her 17 year old son loves being able to rough and tumble with his Mum. This summer Alison took her daughter on holiday to Turkey, something she would never have dreamed of doing before her surgery – her daughter loved the fact that they could both be on the beach in their bikinis and go paragliding and jet skiing together. Alison remarks that before her surgery her children were scared that something would happen to her, now they are very happy with her new found health and energy.
One thing that Alison doesn’t enjoy as much as she thought she would is going shopping for clothes. “There is just too much choice” she complains. She prefers to swap clothes with her friends, something she used to watch them do wistfully from the sidelines.
Alison now weighs 65kg (10st 3lbs), and her BMI is 24.5, right in the range of normal. "Unfortunately the insurance money wasn’t enough for a tummy tuck as well, so that’s what I am saving up for now", she concludes.
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