My Story

Hello Dr Potgieter, Bariatric Surgery Support Team and all my Friends:

It has been 1 Year [ 17 07 2008 ] since my roux – en – y gastric by pass performed by Dr Potgieter. My weight has dropped from 162 kg on the morning of my procedure to 103 kg.

I cannot wait to go into double digits – Dr Potgiter and I agreed that my weight should settle at about 90kg by Christmas 2009.

Since my surgery so much has changed for me

It was a huge decision to take. Driven by desperation and a will to change my life completely, closing up an architectural and design studio with 12 staff after been in the industry for 35 years, selling my house and studio, having to euthanize my

beloved 13 year old staffie and a 6 month old french bulldog [ toxic hepatitis ] – I found myself in a space that allowed me to reinvent myself emotionally and physically. Along with the support of the medical team and my sister, I committed to the emotional and physical change that I needed to completely reinvent myself.

After the roux – en – y gastric bypass I left South Africa to start a new life in Mauritius. There I could be anybody I wanted to be. I did not have to be nice to anybody so that I would be accepted because people had thought that because I was overweight I was lazy or stupid. I did not have to work hard to be clever, funny or friendly: people look at me differently now. Or don’t look at me at all!

Strangers do not have a preconceived idea any more – at 104 kg I blend into the crowd – I disappear – I lose myself.

The biggest fear I always had was the sense of loss. And when I had to say good bye to my 2 dogs within 3 months of each other I realized that some times you have to lose to move on. It is the same with loosing the kilograms – you have to

open yourself to be able to lose the weight. You have to be prepared to be vulnerable and fragile. The loss of the weight frees you and allows you to chose a way forward and leave the part of you that you don’t want, behind.

I am no longer on any prescription drugs. My cardiologist has taken me off my hypertension medication as I no longer suffer form hypertension. My cholesterol is in the desirable zone.

My eating habits have changed. Eating out of frustration, anger, disappointment,boredom and simply because of food been so easily accessible has all changed.

In Mauritius there is no Woolies and very few specialty delis – you buy what you need for the next day or two from the local market and that is the way I live now.

Fresh seasonal vegetables and fruit grown in the area, some chicken and fish from time to time makes up my diet.

Not great on exercise, I do walk occasionally and managed a 10 km hike thru the mountain reserve on the island. It nearly killed me and I will only do 5km in future.

The entire process of the transition is complex and extraordinary. I am sure that it may be more difficult to do this in an environment that one is familiar with. The relationships you have with your partner, work colleagues and friends changes,most importantly the relationship you have with yourself changes and it gives you the opportunity to clean out and change anything you want to change. After this operation you go back into life differently – it’s as if the doctors operated on your mind and not your body!

Roger Before