I was always one of the biggest children, but I wasn’t greatly overweight. I remember food being a bit scarce in our house; I think this was because we had no fridge, this wasn’t unusual in the late fifties, my mother shopped daily. My siblings and I grabbed food where we could; sometimes this might be sauce and bread. I know I was a greedy child and this hasn’t changed to this day. Linda beforeWLS2I do not know if this is part down to genetics, I can see the same greedy characteristics in my children and grandchildren and they have always had a plentiful food source. I never felt secure as a child and from an early age I knew my parents would part. My parents split when I was 15 years old and I didn’t see my father for four years or so, my mother was busy with her nursing career and I was pretty much left to my own devices. I always felt that nobody really cared and I used to comfort eat.

I married, had two daughters, and devoted my time to feeding and nurturing both them and me. I gradually piled weight on and got on the roller coaster of slimming clubs. I lost large amounts of weigh several times but always put the weight back on and more besides. This went on until I had reached nearly 27 stone and I felt helpless.

The weight not only held me back, but it held my whole family back too. When planning anything we would always have to consider whether I would manage. In the end I barely left the house, other than to do the super market shop once a week. I would lean on the trolley the whole way round and wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone so I couldn’t see them staring at the fat lady. If I did go to our local shopping centre, I would to move from bench to bench while my daughter went in the shops. I was thoroughly miserable and just wanted to be able to do normal everyday things.

Linda afterWLS01

The turning point for me was a holiday to Cyprus, I got off that plane with black and bruised knees from the pressure of the seat on front, we got in a taxi to our apartment and I never left that apartment during the day for the whole two weeks we were there, I only went out on an evening to eat. I felt so down and guilty because my husband was off sightseeing on his own. I vowed then that I would never go on holiday again as a super morbidly obese person.

I went to my GP after the holiday and told him I wanted referring for weight loss surgery, he wanted to put me on tablets etc but I told him I had tried all sorts before and I didn’t want to waste any more time. Thankfully he listened and referred me. It was a very long 18 months before I had a gastric bypass on June the 1st 2010 by the lovely Mr Stephen Pollard at Spire Leeds Hospital. I have gone on to lose 16 stones in total and today I hover around 11 stone.

It took me 2 years to reach a healthy BMI and during those 2 years I went to the gym on and off and also did a little walking. Eventually I developed a love of walking hiking and to this day try to do a ramble during the week and a more challenging hike at the weekends. Throughout one of our walks my daughter and I had talked about climbing Mount Snowdon. Before I knew it we were making plans and ready to go. I decided to do the climb in aid of WLSinfo as it’s a charity very close to my heart. WLSinfo has helped me from the very start of this journey and it continues to help me today.

Linda afterWLS02

Climbing Mount Snowdon was both hard, and exhilarating. Going from somebody who could barely walk, to climbing a mountain just blows me away. I still find it hard to believe I actually did it!
It is now just over 4 years since my surgery and I am a much happier and more outgoing person. I live a life I only ever dreamed of and have so much to look forward to. I have to work hard to stay where I am but the changes it has brought to my life make the hard work worthwhile. I love life and would do it all again in a heartbeat.