Older woman dancing in red dress
© Weight Issues Network

This story comes from the Weight Issues Network’s report The Personal Costs of Weight Issues in Australia 2020 and has been reproduced with permission.

I am a proud Ngarigo woman, a mother and a grandmother and I live with obesity and have most of my life. I have faced taunts and stigma because of my weight. I was bullied at school, I have tried most diets known to man, including commercial ventures such as Gloria Marshall which is now no longer in existence and also Weight Watchers. 

Nothing was successful in the long term.

I underwent a gastric bypass three years ago. Prior to this surgery I had hit a high time weight of 150 kgs. At this time I was diabetic on insulin injections, had high cholesterol and high blood pressure issues.

Since my bypass I have gone into diabetic remission, also managed to decrease medication dosages for my cholesterol and hypertension. Also despite still having osteoarthritis in my lower spine and Spondyliolethesis of the lower spine, which had seen me using that scooter, I was able to progress to a walking frame and then a walking stick. Now I have regained a lot of my mobility, to the point that I have been able to take up what has been a love of mine since I was 5 years old. I am dancing on a regular basis. The only time I use the mobility scooter now is to take it out on a weekly maintenance run to keep the batteries working.

There are many out there who believe surgery is the cheat’s way out but let me tell you it is as much hard work to maintain as it is to diet on your own, except you have the support of medical staff to assist you. I am still facing the issues of obesity. I have to constantly work at my quest to maintain a more healthy weight and keep my mobility. We have to keep telling ourselves that where there’s a will there is a way, you just have to find the way that works for you.