I told you in March I had to quit smoking. This is why. In December 2011 I asked my GP to put me forward for gastric surgery for weight loss. That they did and funding was agreed by my local Primary Care Trust (PCT) for the NHS to pay for my op, normally up to £12,000 when funded privately. I met the team at my chosen location (Heartlands Hospital) in June, had a pre-op assessment on 2nd October and the actual procedure at 4:30pm on October 26th 2012. I was home the next day and a week later am still on a liquid diet. No problems so far apart from a little trapped wind, a touch of constipation and a slightly sore wound. What was most amazing was that the weight loss started at once. This is due to my liquid diet, I realise, but to shed a stone in a week is jaw-dropping for me. I will have 3 more weeks of liquid diet, then 2 weeks of puree, followed by two weeks of mashables. After that, onto proper food!

People often see gastric surgery as a quick fix for morbid obesity but I assure you, this isn’t an easy journey at all. I had to lose 9kg before they would accept me for surgery so I was on a diet of just milkshakes and a regime of workouts at Derngate Gym doing two lots of Body Fat Challenge. I started at 28st9lb and exercising at that size hurts. Before that, there’s all the worry of wondering if my application to the PCT would be accepted and all kinds of other stress. It’s like a test of will and endurance before you even get into hospital!

I would like to thank everyone at Heartlands, Derngate Gym, WLSurgery and WLSInfo for invaluable help, support and advice.

I’m currently 25st7lb and plan to lose about 10st over the next 2 years.