Transcript: Living life to the fullest
My name’s Stuart. I’m 29. I’m from Melbourne, Victoria. I finished my schooling, my VCE, at 18 and I worked full-time for a fast food company. I worked there for nine years and was able to eat their food and did very minimal exercise. And my weight scaled up.
I was (in my) early twenties to (my) mid-twenties, when I was at my highest weight. I tried numerous gym memberships and things like that, and those type of sports, and things were always difficult for me. My asthma was very bad so I had to use my inhaler twice a day. And now since the operation, it’s more or less gone. I don’t have to use it anymore.
My friends and I would go wakeboarding and I was never small enough to be able to fit into the wetsuits or small enough to be able to fit onto the wakeboard. So I was always nominated as the driver. I couldn’t do it myself.
Another problem I had was sleep apnea. I had to use a CPAP machine and a breathing machine for the best part of two years. I was snoring very, very loudly and waking up throughout the evening. So that’s definitely gone now. I don’t have to use that anymore.
Definitely, when I was overweight, my self-esteem was low. It was hard to be the big guy. It was embarrassing. I felt extradited from my friends. I didn’t look the same as everyone else.
Definitely, a turning point for me to have the operation was when my friend decided I was going to be the best man in his wedding. We all went off to have our suit fittings and the tailor took him aside and said, “I don’t have a suit that’s going to be able to fit Stuart”.
So my friend had to change what everyone looked like and changed to different suits to suit my body size. That’s when I found that my weight was not only affecting myself but it was now affecting other people around me.
It was embarrassing. It made me feel like an outcast. I wasn’t the same as everyone else. If you’ve explored every other option to try and lose weight, going to see a bariatric surgeon is definitely… it worked for me. It did. It was a good decision.
I don’t think that it was a cop out. It definitely wasn’t the easiest way out. Having 85% of your stomach removed is not. You know, I think that if I could join a gym and had the same result, I definitely would have, but it didn’t work.
Gastric surgery was a huge success, it worked for me. I feel better, I look better. I live on the beach, so running my dogs on the beach is what I do for fitness. It makes me feel fantastic. I think I’m living my life to the fullest. When I look at photos of myself previously, it’s like looking at a different person and I don’t want to be that person anymore.