Weight before surgery: 100kg Weight after surgery: 78kg
At 51, after many years of fluctuating weight, Anne Stephen underwent a sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure she says has completely changed her life.
nne Stephen had spent most of her life being fit and healthy. Then, three pregnancies and a serious biking accident saw her weight – and her life – change dramatically. “I was a tall, solid girl as a teenager, but never overweight. I joined the Australian Army at 21 years of age in 1985 and had my first child at 26. I managed to get back to a nice weight afterwards through training in the military. “During my second pregnancy I gained a lot of weight, then six weeks after my son’s birth I had a bike accident resulting in a severe compound fracture which left me unable to use my left arm for nearly two years. I never really got my weight under control before I was pregnant with my third child. “I was over 120 kilos when my son was born (20 years ago) and I have struggled with my weight since then. My weight fluctuated a lot over the next 10 years. Being in the Army helped me maintain my weight to a degree as physical training was mandatory, however it was not easy and I was always dieting. “I was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and lost a lot of weight, largely due to eating military rations and the large workload (I got down to 75 kilos – called the ‘go on active service diet’, not recommended for everyone). I discharged from the Army in 2012 due to my injuries and have struggled with my weight ever since.” Anne says the constant focus on her weight became an emotional burden. “I was never happy overweight,” she says. “I was depressed and didn’t like shopping for special events. I would nearly starve myself for months before any big occasion or family gathering so I could look half decent.” “I was quite upset with myself for not being able to manage my weight and often clashed with my husband in relation to my excessive food intake.” 30 slim magazine winter 2015
By chance, a girlfriend of Anne’s underwent a sleeve gastrectomy which prompted Anne to look into that option for herself. It was then that she met Dr Jason Free. “When I saw Dr Free he was fantastic,” Anne says. “I wasn’t the heaviest client he had ever had, but due to my military injuries my body was not coping with my weight and he agreed to the surgery. “Once I had undergone the surgery, I spent a couple of days in hospital and then I was home and fine. I didn’t push myself. As I am retired I was in no hurry to rush back to work or to start doing anything out of the ordinary too fast.” At the time of going to print, Anne has already lost well over 20 kilos, with the weight continuing to come off. Anne says the entire process has been easier than she thought. “Since surgery my biggest problem was knowing how much food and the sort of food to eat to keep my energy levels up. If I did not eat the right food I found I didn’t have the energy that I needed to get through the day.” These challenges and learning curves are, Anne says, a very small price to pay for the new lease on life she has been given as a result of the weight-loss. “Since the surgery my life has changed for the better,” she says. “I am so much more mobile and my body is not giving me as much pain as before. “I am wearing clothes that I haven’t worn for a long time and am not embarrassed by what I look like. My husband is happy, and we agree that skinny sex is better than fat sex! “I eat when and what I want, it’s just the portion sizes that are different, as you can’t over eat. I don’t deny myself anything, which is what I have done for the past twenty years. Having this operation has definitely been a changing point in my life.”
Published on Jul 6, 2015
Elle Macpherson is our stunning cover girl. Slim Magazine is designed for everyone who wants to reach or maintain a healthy body weight. Thi...