Phil Dillon is now six weeks into his new life after having gastric sleeve surgery.
Phil Dillon is now six weeks into his new life after having gastric sleeve surgery. Warren Lynam

Expert advice, support is the key to success

Support. That is the key to "surviving” the journey after having weight-loss surgery.

I am only six weeks into my new life after having a gastric sleeve and without the help of family and friends I would have struggled to get through it all.

More importantly, though, it is the support and advice from the experts which is what anyone who has had weight loss surgery really needs.

During the past six weeks and throughout the rest of my new life with three-quarters of my stomach removed, I can seek the advice of my surgeon, psychologists, physiologists and dietitians to help me through the many ups and downs.

I commenced the final stage after surgery on February 6 and am finally on to solid food. To say I had been looking forward to that is an understatement, but I have to hand out a warning to others considering surgery or who have just had it done and are still to reach the final stage.

I was dreaming of my first proper meal and had plans what and how much I could eat when I took that first tentative step back to "normality”. But a lot of the elation I felt about having my first meal slipped away when I struggled to get through it.

Chew slowly and take your time is the mantra set by the dietitians - they suggest a meal should take 20 minutes to eat - but if you don't follow that to the letter then you will pay by having pain in your new stomach or a nauseous feeling which takes away the pleasure eating "properly”.

Planning my day (foodwise) now will be key to a good future with the gastric sleeve.

My food and exercise regime has been mapped out every day and it will be down to me to follow it.

If I continue to do things right then I will be on the right path to a healthier future and like I said previously the weight loss, if I do things right, will take care of itself.

For the record, since January 19 I have now lost 23 kilos.

Phil Dillon is a journalist with News Corp. He will provide six monthly updates on his life after surgery.