This was the best
decision of my life


My experience food wise, slow cooked meals have been the best ones for me, particularly consuming meats that are traditionally a bit tougher.  My wife makes a lot of slow cooked meals now, but that's not the only thing I eat but it is the easiest.

Gastric banding has helped me make healthier choices in my food choices.  I find having gastric banding that I have to be a bit smart about what I eat, so I tend to eat a lot more healthier than I did before anyway.
The decision of the lap band …
The decision of the lap band was a long decision for me.  It took me roughly two years.  From when I did it it took me weeks to go in and have the surgery and it's just been perfect.  I have no complaints.  My health has improved and I would recommend anyone who's thinking of doing it to go and do it.
I'd recommend anyone who's thinking of doing it to go and do it.

{slider So you were saying about the support of the clinic.}
The support from the clinic has been excellent.  The surgeon is wonderful and with gastric banding your body does react differently and you need to learn all over again what's good and bad and what works for you and ringing them up for advice has always been supportive.

{slider In terms of before you went for the procedure how did you feel about it versus, did you have any fears, any concerns, was it a scary procedure?  How would you compare the reality of the whole procedure versus what you may have felt?  So would you say to other people "don't be too scared about it because it's okay"?}
Before I had gastric banding I was unsure of it.  It took me two years to make my mind up.  When I decided to do it within weeks I was in and had it done.  It has been the best thing I did for weight loss.  I tried a lot of other things, it just didn't work.  I didn't have the willpower any more with all those other diets.  I would recommend anyone thinking of doing it have it done.  It's improved my health immensely.

{slider So we've talked about foods, are there any food types or anything you miss from your old lifestyle, you said you don't miss fast food etc but is there anything you miss that you've managed to overcome?}
As far as foods I don't eat that I probably used to eat before, I don't miss anything.  It doesn't really bother me that much.  I sort of figured that what I missed probably wasn't good for me anyway.

{slider And one of the other areas that we also find people get put off by is cost of the procedure.}
I'm not good for that, mine was free.

{slider There's actually a new article out that's saying that over time people save money so much on health benefits, gastric banding, win the money back in health care.  That's not obviously appropriate to you.  In terms of the support of the clinic and the experience as a whole how valuable have you found repeat visits and constant communication with the clinic?}
Yeah, it's been good.

{slider Support with the clinic.}
The support I've had from the clinic …
The support I've had from the clinic has been absolutely great.  It's always good to go and see Dr (6.42) to check in to make sure it's all been going well.

{slider We're not supposed to mention the doctor specifically, the surgeon.}
The support I've had from the clinic has been great and my surgeon is excellent because they advise me when things are normal or not normal because with lap band it is a new experience (7.08).
The support from the clinic has been excellent. The surgeon advice has been great.  With gastric banding, because it is new and your body reacts in different ways, so at times you've got to understand "well is this normal or not".  So going to the clinic has been wonderful.
My experience food wise, slow cooked meals have been the best ones for me.  I've particularly consuming meats that are traditionally a bit tougher.  My wife makes a lot of slow cooked meals now, but that's not the only thing I eat but it is the easiest.
Gastric banding has helped me make healthier choices in my food choices.  I find having gastric banding that I have to be a bit smarter about what I eat.  So I tend to eat a lot more healthier than I did before anyway.

{slider Put my body under a lot of strain, so since taking the weight I've found …}
Having the extra weight put my body under a lot of strain, I had a lot of injuries …
I did have a number of injuries over the time and carrying the extra weight put a lot of stress on those injuries.  Losing the weight has just made things a lot more better and I'm more mobile than I was before.

{slider In terms of, going back to the exercise question, in terms of what you were able to do before and what you enjoy now, what's your daily life like?}
In terms of exercise I hardly did any exercise because I put on that much weight it was just very difficult to do it and very uncomfortable and just always in pain.  Now I'm at the gym every day, back running, walking, lifting weights again, it's been good.

{slider What about people that haven't seen you in a while, how's the reaction of the difference in you?}
People who haven't seen me definitely notice it.  I went and saw the doctor today for the first time.
{slider You'd word it as "the reaction from people that haven't seen me in a while".}
The reaction from people who haven't seen me in a while are quite amazed by how much weight I've lost.  I saw my local doctor today and he just went "oh wow, how much have you lost" and he asked me and I said "I had lap band".  He was quite impressed.

{slider What are the barriers we find with a lot of people considering gastric banding is that they feel like their life is going to be over in terms of food and they can't enjoy food anymore and you can't eat so many things.  Could you tell me what foods you enjoy and what things that it hasn't restricted you since.  If that's what you feel.}
I still enjoy food as much as I did before, I just don't eat as much, way less and I find I don't enjoy the foods that probably had me gain food, so your fast food, your junk foods, just don't enjoy them at all.  I enjoy good food, snacks and all that sort of stuff and you don't really notice the difference, it's just quantity that's all.

{slider And what was it for you decide "okay, I need to take action", what was it that was the turning point or at what point did you do it?}
The reason I decide gastric banding was for two reasons.  I had two friends that had it done.  It took me a long time to make up my mind.  They had it for two years and I saw a lot of improvement and they were full of praise and the second reason was when I did have chest pains and my diabetes tests and all that were going up higher and so I said "that's it, I've got to do something different".  So walked in, made a decision, within two weeks I was in surgery and low and behold, away I went.

{slider What other procedures, did you consider anything else in terms of surgical options?}
I looked at all options for gastric.  I wasn't really impressed with the other options, I didn't entertain.  It was either banding or nothing for me and I found it's been great.

{slider Could you maybe go back and say that bit and elaborate on why.}
The three options I looked at was gastric banding, the sleeve and the bypass.  I felt the bypass and sleeve was too drastic for myself and I wasn't really prepared to do that.  Because my friends had banding and said it has been pretty good.  I didn't feel that affected the life too much and you can't eat as much.  So that's why I chose it.  I found it suited me in what I wanted to get out of weight loss.

{How much weight have you lost, when you started versus now?}
From when I first walked in and decided to do it I've lost 31 kilos since January last year, sorry, since August last year.

{slider Since August last year I've lost 31 kilos.}
Since August last year I've lot 31 kilos.

{And in terms of what you can do now versus what you did before, you discussed a little bit about the struggles that you had with certain things before.  What's different now in your life?}
I can go out and do a lot of things.  I can work in the backyard all day and all weekend.  My wife is very happy with that.  I can go out to nightclubs, I can go out to the RSL and do the whole night, dance, have a good time with my friends without feeling any pain, without having to take painkillers during the night.  I found I'm a lot more active, definitely have a lot more energy and I'm awake a lot more.

{slider And with regards friends and family have people noticed a difference and how they've been …}
Friends and family have noticed a huge increase and a huge difference especially my mates, I can play golf, I can walk nine holes and feel pretty good after it.  So they definitely notice a difference.  I do a lot more outdoor activities now.  My family have noticed the change, I'm not as tired, not as grumpy, not as irritable and they think it's just wonderful.

{slider And I forgot to mention here injuries or old injuries.  Have you had some kind of health injuries that you suffered before?}
From when I was in the military I've had Achilles tendon taken off, I've had shoulders basically reconstructed, I've had a few other injuries here and there.  My knees are a bit shot, I've got arthritis in my knees, ankles.  It's not the end of the world but that's life, probably worn down a bit, wear and tear.  I have spurs under my feet, under my kneecaps, all that sort of thing.  So putting on weight just put a load of pressure on injuries I do have.  I used to live on painkillers, couldn't really get by without them and now I just, other than anti-inflammatory type drugs, so I don't need painkillers as much as I used to and I'm not relying on them anymore.

{slider And what about exercise or working out, how's that changed from before and after? The first thing I wanted to go for, what was life like before the procedure, so what difficulties, how was your life beforehand?  What was your life like before the procedure, before the gastric band?}
Before I had gastric banding I discharged from the military about 11 years ago.
Twelve years ago I got discharged from the military and ever since then just started putting on weight and never seemed to get it under control.  Got real stressful jobs.  Before the banding I had heart pains and was just pretty unhealthy and just thought that's it, I've got to do something different.  So I was pretty unwell and heading on a downward spiral I would say.

{And how did your situation being overweight affect your family or friends or your lifestyle?}
It affected my family life.  My wife always complained about my snoring, it was pretty bad.  People in the other room complained about my snoring.  We used to go camping a lot and everyone used to complain.  So yeah, you notice putting on weight it just affects everything.  Working out the backyard, mowing the lawn, two hour job I was knackered, feet hurt, ankles hurt, knees hurt (19.39) and pretty well the whole weekend you'd be in pain and you couldn't do stuff.  If you wanted to go to the park, run around, yeah, (19.46) normal stuff, you just can't run as far or as long.  Nieces and nephews want to wrestle, I was knackered in half an hour and they'd have me down.  So it was really affecting my life and I was tired, didn't want to do anything, didn't want to go out.


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