Thomas’ Weightloss Story
As far back as I can remember, even as a child, I had always been overweight.
Having a larger frame was something that I had put down to genetics and was an easy excuse that I would often use as a reason for the shape and size of my body.
It is not always something that you give too much thought to when you are younger but the older you become the more aware you are of your body image, and how your relationship with food can affect the way you look – and I have always enjoyed my food, but not so much my body image!
Being a man who is 5ft 5in, excess weight is not always carried easily and would sit noticeably around my middle. Longing to change the way I looked would mean that I would diet and exercise, which was successful at times, but was never a long-term commitment for one reason or another. This resulted in a situation that many people who struggle with their weight can relate to; yo-yo dieting, with keeping the weight off becoming more and more difficult to maintain as time goes on.
As a young adult I worked long and unpredictable hours while I was studying to become a surgeon, and until my studies were complete, would be taking exams every couple of years. This busy lifestyle would often make leading a healthy lifestyle more challenging, not finding the time to cook healthy meals and take regular exercise – even if I had the extra energy. As an overweight person I was unhappy with my appearance and was affected by the impact of low self-esteem.
In 2018 I came to the point at which I decided that enough was enough and I was going to take action once and for all, and change my appearance for the better and for good!
Following a period of research and soul searching, I took the plunge and underwent a gastric sleeve operation which removes part of the stomach, creating a shape that resembles a banana, or ‘sleeve’. The aim of this procedure is to make the size of the stomach smaller so that you eat much smaller portions of food and feel fuller, quicker than before the operation.
Much as I had great expectations, I never had expected that I would shed an amazing 5 stone in weight and I felt so much healthier and more energetic than I did before.
This is by no means a wonder cure for weight management, and takes absolute determination as well as commitment, by way of a massive lifestyle shift. Changing my eating habits has been challenging at times but I have learned to adjust my mindset and replaced the enjoyment I got from food, with other activities that better enhance my body, health and overall wellbeing so I now know the true meaning of enjoying life.
I am really proud of my achievements, and there is nothing I would change about my decision (other than doing it sooner), but if you’re thinking about undergoing this type of procedure it’s good to understand that one of the effects of losing a significant amount of weight is that it can leave behind excess skin. This can then present different difficulties surrounding body image as its appearance can be unattractive, as well as the presence of excess skin also being physically uncomfortable. As a surgeon myself I have the knowledge and the assurance of knowing that through surgical intervention, we can help to rectify this concern by removing these unsightly folds as well as going a long way to restoring lost confidence. When a decision of this kind is taken it takes the support of your family and friends, as well as an empathetic surgeon. With this final step forward, I knew that it would complete my weight loss journey and not only would I have a trimmer figure, I would also appear firmer and more toned.
My future is now one where I feel more at peace with my appearance and have the confidence to do things, like going swimming or sunbathing on holiday, which so many other people have never thought twice about. I am a believer that we should enjoy life and finally, I can!
As much as this is my chosen vocation, I am so fortunate that my work sees me perform a range of cosmetic surgery which includes a number of body contouring procedures. I can apply my own experiences into helping others reach their goal, providing the physical and emotional support they need to progress through this life-changing process.
As a medical professional, one common bond I do share with my patients, is that I too regret not doing something about it sooner.