Craig (55) grew up in Birmingham and his struggles with his weight began in childhood. He was always being called names, something he tried to ignore as he grew up.
Over the years, Craig was a classic yo-yo dieter. He says, “I was a chocaholic, and I’d would always look forward to my next meal, especially breakfast and dinner. I really enjoyed a burger at the burger van after a night out with the lads.”
When he started to run his own forklift truck business in 2004, Craig ended up putting on even more weight due to the long working hours behind a desk and the stress of working for himself. He began to develop Type 2 diabetes, as well as a host of other health-related issues.
During a visit to his doctor in 2018, Craig was told that he would be lucky if he would live five years if he didn’t sort his weight out. It made him sit up and listen. “Dieting hadn’t ever worked for me, so I thought long and hard about having surgery. Of course, there are risks involved, but if I didn’t do it, I could die prematurely anyway, so what did I have to lose?”
Having just become a grandfather to Hollie, and knowing that he had missed out on a lot while his own children were growing up due to working so much, Craig was determined to turn things around. He booked a consultation with Transform Hospital Group and, after consideration, went ahead with gastric bypass surgery in December 2018.
Although his family were worried, they were completely supportive, especially as his weight was causing him to experience so many secondary health problems.
Because Craig had stuck to the recommended two-week pre-op diet, his operation was very straightforward and went well. Following the surgery he then steadily lost from 2-3lb a week, finally plateauing at his current weight of 13st 10lbs.
Craig smiles, “Having the surgery has changed my life – I wish it was something I’d done 20 years ago. My confidence has grown so much as a result, and I’m so much healthier too. Customers that I’ve had for many years still walk past without recognising me. It’s been such a life changer.
“Managing my food is no big issue any more, because food is something I eat to survive. No longer am I surviving to eat.”
Craig’s found that his energy levels are much higher these days, too. He said, “I’d be falling asleep at my desk by 3pm, as my energy was at zero by then. In the evenings, I’d be going to bed at 8pm. But now I’m up until 10 or 11pm, and I could go for a run no problem at all. I’d never have been able to run before, but the bypass op has completely changed my life. I feel better now than I did in my 20s and 30s.”
Craig is also now had the all-clear from diabetes, and has seen an amazing improvement in all his other weight-related health problems.
He adds, “I would definitely recommend weight loss surgery to anyone who is struggling with their weight. I used to say that M&S were scrimping on their clothing material because I just couldn’t find anything big enough to fit me. Obviously they weren’t - it was all my own doing. Now I can go into the shops and buy straight off the peg. That’s a fantastic feeling.”
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