A gay man from Manchester is celebrating a whopping 13 stone in weight loss after pioneering surgery.
• At his heaviest Gareth weighed 30 STONE
• Tried surviving on PEANUT BUTTER and MILKSHAKES diets
• Lost 13 stone with gastric bypass
Gareth Roberts, 36, is celebrating with his partner after managing to lose over 13 stones in weight after undergoing a gastric bypass.
Gareth, who grew up in Wythenshawe, Manchester, but now lives in Baroda, an Indian city between Mumbai and Delhi, said: “The surgery has completely changed my life for the better and opened up so many new things to me.
“My partner Marco is an engineer who had the opportunity to go and work in India – before the operation, I never would have had the confidence to even contemplate going to live over there. But now we are enjoying a whole new life together there.”
The 36-year-old added: “Health-wise I knew it was only a matter of time before my weight started to catch up with me.
“I already had raised blood pressure and my weight was affecting my mobility as well as putting strain on my joints – I knew it wasn’t going to be long before things got worse. But now I am feeling fitter and more active than I ever have in my life.”
Gareth underwent his procedure in 2011 at Spire Manchester in Whalley Range, one of five hospitals which make up the Spire Weight Loss Surgery (SWLS) specialist bariatric surgery network.
Gareth had struggled with his weight since childhood, and admits over the years the problem had escalated to the point where he had lost control over what and how much he was eating.
He said: “I used to live in an open plan apartment and I’d be sitting in the living room, next to the kitchen, and almost hear the food calling to me in my head. If I knew there was a multi-pack of crisps in the cupboard you could guarantee they’d be gone by the end of the night.”
Over the past 20 years he had made numerous attempts to shed the excess pounds in all manner of different ways, surviving on diets consisting of everything from milkshakes to peanut butter.
He did once lost five stone through a slimming club but would always end up piling the weight back on, and more.
Gareth remembered: “There would be a sense of camaraderie at the clubs, but you’d often also encourage each other to be bad. You’d congratulate each other on being good all week and losing 3lbs so then you’d tell yourself you deserved a treat that night – and put on all that you’d lost again anyway.”
The former manager in social care, who now volunteers with a charity in India, said the bypass procedure carried out by Mr Alan Li, one of Spire Weight Loss Surgery’s expert surgeons, was now giving him confidence with food for the first time since he was a child.
“This is one of the major benefits for me,” Gareth said.
“The surgery has given me a tool to not only lose the weight, but to alleviate the fear that always lived in me whenever I lost some weight that I was going to pile it all back on again. Having the operation is a life-changing decision, but it brings life-changing results.”
He praised Spire Weight Loss Surgery and its team of specialist nurses, expert surgeons and helpful dieticians for their advice and support over the past two years.
“I had such a positive experience with Spire Weight Loss Surgery – they were so supportive from the very start and still are today, two years on. I’ve always felt like they were there for you and you could ask them anything. It’s a very friendly, nurturing environment.”
And he said he was feeling the difference in all areas of his life.
Gareth said: “I can actually move and breathe now – I can run up the stairs without gasping for breath!
“My partner is quite active – he enjoys things like mountain hiking and going on roller coasters which I just couldn’t physically do before because of my size. I was missing out on so many things – you try to pretend it doesn’t matter, but it does.
“That’s not me any more. I’m so much physically fitter – after all I’m no longer dragging another person around with me! I enjoy swimming and walking and I work out at the gym. I’m also happy to fly back regularly to Manchester to visit friends and family on my own – something I would have dreaded before I lost the weight.
“After years of dieting, I finally feel like I’ve got control back over food and over my life.”
For more information about Spire Weight Loss Surgery, please call 0800 142 2200 or email [email protected] or go to www.spirewlsurgery.com.