August 2022

Carolyn Saunders

1. What made you decide to have wls surgery?
I decided to have wls a long time before my operation but didn't realise i had because I wasn't in the right headspace to even consider it. I had become so big that I was not going to live much longer.
2. What was your weight prior to your WLS, and... What’s the goal?
My start weight was 232.9 kg in November 2019. My current weight is 1402kg. My goal is to get to 100kg.
3. Did you get to the weight you wanted?
I am still working at getting there. The scales aren't moving at the moment but my body is shrinking.
4. How do you feel now that you have had the surgery?
I feel amazing, doing things i haven't done since i was a teenager like getting on the floor, camping in a tent and so many other things.
5. Were there any problems along the way?
I had a few problems but not from the surgery but because of the massive weight loss. I had to have my gallbladder and stones removed, i had an issue with my cycle that turned out to be cancer and had a full hystorectomy in September 2020. Other than those no real problems.
6. Would you do it again now that you know what you know?
I would definatly do the operation again in a heartbeat. Through 8 years of phsychology and the mini bypass I have saved my life.
7. What are some of the inspiring things you can think of that you have noticed along the way?
Things that inspired me along the way have been the encouragement of family and friends, others stories, finding the courage to face my demons and seeing my own changes to life, my attitude, my self talk changing from negative to positive and last but not least my sense of adventure has returned and i now want to do things I see others doing that are adventureous and fun.
8. Did you have some happy unexpected surprises?
Yes i did and still do. The biggest one was that my younger sister and I have reconnected after 10 years ofno talking. Another was that my older sister finally admitted she had a problem and had wls surgery last year.
9. What advice do you have for anyone preparing for surgery?
Listen to your specialist team, if people are negative about you doing this shed them as they will hold you back. Have several sessions with a therapist before your op, while you are going through your recovery and after. You have to change your mindset about why you got to where you are to need surgery and as your body changes you will need to change your mind set to fit your new physical appearance. If you cheat on the pre op you are only cheating yourself.
10. What is the one very best thing that has resulted from your surgery? What has been the hardest part of your journey?
The one thing that has resulted from my surgery is that I have made new friends who support me and chip me when i start going off the rails and pull me back onto the right path. The hardest part is surprising, it was actually getting rid of some of my favourite clothes. But they are now gone and I feel renewed now and ready to get a new wardrobe for summer.