Life before surgery –
Before surgery I weighed 22st 11.7lbs and was a size 24/26. I felt a bit hopeless. I had spent so many years running around on the diet-culture hamster wheel where I would lose a good amount of weight and then pile it all back on again. Especially with WW, where I would lose 4-5 stone and then fall off of the wagon and pile it all back on, this happened 3 times over a 10 year period, with many other diet attempts in between. I had tried it all and just couldn’t find the motivation to do it all over again. I was uncomfortable and self conscious, always feeling like I needed to apologise for the space that I took up in the world. Not that anyone would ever have known as I was always jolly, cracking fat jokes at my own expense before anyone else could….I never hated myself, but I definitely wasn’t as confident as I would have the world believe.
In my work as a midwife being physically mobile was always important, however as my career progressed and changed I found myself working in a less physically challenging environment, working with bereaved families. This also caused my weight to spiral even further out of control, with a desk job I had time to eat more and move less. Dangerous cycle.
The worst side effect of my weight was definitely the impact that it had on my health. It was also the thing that was my turning point. I was admitted to hospital in July 2021 with gallstones. I have never felt so ill in my life and knew that I had to change.
My Tonic experience –
I chose to go with Tonic after extensive research, as I was really drawn to the aftercare package. I understood early on that the physical surgery was a very small part of the process, and that it would be the aftercare and changes that I made to my life that would see my surgery being a success in the long term.
From my first contact, everyone at Tonic has been incredible. Nothing has ever been too much trouble, or a question too small. The hospital was beautiful, clean and comfortable. I met the anaesthetist and surgeon very soon after arriving and can honestly say that I felt 100% safe in their care from the get go, they took the time to explain everything thoroughly, answer my questions and reassure me.
The aftercare team are the real heroes of the whole surgery journey. From the day that I left hospital the wonderful nurses were in touch on a daily basis, sometimes more than once a day! Having the opportunity to speak with the dietician and PT have also been incredible, especially for long term success. I had a wobble around 9 months post op, where the weight loss slowed and I convinced myself I was failing and the team were able to help me unpick it all and realise how far I had come.
Life after surgery –
Since September 9th 2021, I have lost 9 Stone 4.1lbs. I have 3 stone left to go until my target of 10stone 7lbs, however at this point I’m wearing a size 14 clothes, I’m exercising and am fitter than I’ve ever been and I feel incredible. So I would ‘like’ to lose another 3 stone, but I won’t be devastated if I don’t.
I feel AMAZING!! Before surgery I was so unhealthy, unfit, uncomfortable and if I allow myself to be super honest, unhappy. My life has changed beyond recognition, I’m more confident, I want more for myself. I gave myself this year to be selfish and prioritise my needs over everything else. The time spent working on myself is paying off. I have also done a number of things which are completely out of my comfort zone, my instagram account @bypassing_dannii where I have shared my journey from the word go (including photos in my undies), has been a great source of comfort and I have made some incredible lifelong friends. Even recording the podcast and putting myself forward to have photographs taken……life changing!!
I would 10000000% recommend Tonic. The care from the first contact has been outstanding, I have felt included in every part of my care and the team are superstars. Nothing has been too much trouble and if I had to pinpoint just one reason it would definitely be the aftercare. The team are passionate, knowledgeable, professional and best of all friendly. Choosing weight loss surgery was an amazing decision for me, but choosing Tonic to help me through it was the best decision I could have made.