Life before surgery –
I had been yo-yo dieting since about the age of 12, always losing a bit but inevitably putting it back on, and more besides. After having my son and going to work full time, I never found the time (or energy) to exercise, and my food choices were based around speed and ease than nutritional value. Health-wise, I was fine, but I had low confidence and felt very self-conscious in social settings. I just didn’t have the confidence to be who I wanted to be because of what I looked like. I was a dress size 16–18.
My Tonic experience –
I chose the gastric sleeve with Tonic. I wanted something that was final and didn’t require maintenance or further surgeries in the future. I wasn’t looking for a temporary fix; I liked the finality of the sleeve. When I first spoke to Tonic, the best thing was, they didn’t try to “sell” me anything. They gave me the information and left me to decide what I wanted. I didn’t want to feel like I was being sold to. When I got back in contact with my decision to move forward, they were super helpful. I had a telephone appointment (due to COVID) with my consultant, who was so lovely and answered all my questions. We had a really frank conversation and he said he was happy to treat me, and confirmed that in writing. I then had an appointment with a psychologist as Tonic are keen to ensure patients understand this isn’t a “quick fix” – it takes work! When I got cleared, I was given a date which suited me (I worked term time, so needed to fit in with school holidays) and then it was a flurry of confirmation calls (I always knew I could change my mind if I wanted to) and calls from the PT, the dietitian and the nurse.
On the day of the surgery, I was checked on a few times but left to relax in my private room. My consultant came to see me and offer reassurance and answer any final questions I had. Then we went to theatre, where everyone was so lovely and reassuring.
The few days after surgery were filled with phone calls from the Tonic team checking on me, answering questions and offering advice. I joined the private Facebook group and got loads of support there. I know I only need to pick up the phone and someone is there if I need anything. But the information is so well provided and straightforward, I rarely need to.
Life after surgery –
I feel amazing now. I’m a size 8 and I eat whatever I like – just small amounts. I’m very sociable and I feel my personality can really come out as I’m not constantly worrying about what I look like or what others think of me. It’s given me a whole new lease of life. I’ve never been happier with how I look. I’m able to run around with my 5 year old and just be more of the mother I want to be. I’ve already recommended Tonic and always will. They are an amazing team and thanks to them and my surgeon, I’ve got my life back.