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Making the right decision for me
Monday 16 January 2017

Danielle Tofts, Choose and Book NHS Co-ordinator at Duchy Hospital, has kindly shared her weight loss surgery journey in a series of articles, inspiring others by her amazing results.

At 24 years old I was deemed morbidly obese, I was unhealthy, unhappy and my confidence was non-existent.  I had always been the 'chubby one' right the way through school, bullies made my life pretty miserable but I kept up the thinking that it's the person inside that matters. Whilst this is entirely true, as I grew older I realised that health is just as important. It's no fun when you're too embarrassed to go on a bike ride with your friends because you know you physically can't do it. It's not fun when you refuse to go clothes shopping because none of the high-street shops have clothes that fit you. And it is not fun avoiding mirrors and getting so anxious when someone is taking a photo of you, especially a full-length one. None of that is fun, but it was my life.

I was incredibly unhappy with my weight for a long time but it didn't hit me properly until I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and with that came a secondary diagnosis of weight related infertility, this hit me like a tonne of bricks. The fact that I may not be able to have my own children because I was so overweight was killing me. Anxiety & depression crept in and my self-esteem hit an all-time low.

Over the next couple of years I constantly moaned about my size, tried every ridiculous diet going, and joined slimming clubs (with no success) and worse of all; got denied fertility treatment on the NHS.

Doctors and professionals had suggested weight loss surgery to me in the past but I had always thought 'wow that's extreme-I'm not big enough to think about that!'  Turns out that at 5 foot 2 inches, 19 stone 5 lbs and a crazy BMI of over 49 I was more than big to consider it.

The thought of having surgery terrified me but I did a lot of research and eventually plucked up the courage to ask my GP to refer me to Duchy Hospital, where I work, for a consultation with a weight loss surgeon.

I met with Mr Ian Finlay and during the consultation he explained all the different procedures to me in detail, suggested what might work for me and asked me what my reasons for considering surgery. The answer was easy.....I didn't want to die young of a stroke or heart attack. I left the consultation feeling full of information but also quite overwhelmed. This was NOT the easy way out, but the results and statistics sounded incredible.

Over the next few months I gave myself one last chance of trying my very hardest to lose weight but it was entirely unsuccessful and I kept find myself thinking more and more about surgery and feeling really positive about it.

After a lot of long conversations with my husband, talking to other people who had had weight loss surgery and also joining BPS WEIGHTLOSS IN CORNWALL, Facebook group, to gain knowledge and speak to others in a similar situation, I made my decision.

I was 100% ready to commit, fully aware of the hard work involved and actually excited to start my new life.......my date for surgery was booked!