My weightloss journey… Part 1: Before surgery

My weightloss journey… Part 1: Before surgery

I originally started Less Lisa. More Life. as a way to document my weightloss journey. Life got busy (as it does), and all of the posts I had planned, fell by the wayside. It’s an important part of my story, and I want to share all the highs and lows of weightloss surgery. Here goes…Part 1 Before surgery.


During 2015, I was completely miserable. I was at my heaviest of 147.5kg! It seems unfathomable that  I let myself get to that point, but that was my reality. I had tried every single diet know to man and had never successfully kept the weight off. Back in 2008-09, I lost 40kg and got down to 91kg. I was feeling pretty good about myself…but then I bounced. I put all the weight back on and more in a very short period of time! Being a depression sufferer, this only made my condition worse. I started avoiding social situations, and not participating in life at all. I was becoming the person who sits on the sideline, rather than participate. It’s funny though, the bigger you are, the more invisible you become.

By this time, I was also diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and had become insulin dependent. Giving myself a needle several times a day, and swallowing loads of tablets made me feel completely miserable. I couldn’t sleep well, because I was constantly getting up to pee, or I felt like I was choking from the fat on my chest and throat (undiagnosed sleep apnoea perhaps?). I had no energy at all to exercise, or play with the kids, or do the day to day things that needed to happen. I just didn’t want to live life like this any more. Something drastic had to happen.

Less Lisa More Life…the before photos…at my heaviest of 147.5kg

Late 2015, I made the life changing decision to have gastric sleeve surgery. I consulted my local bariatric surgeon, and was confident he was the person for the job. Not being in a health fund, the cost of surgery was very expensive, so I applied to have a portion of my superannuation released to cover it. This was not an easy task. Loads of forms and waiting, but thankfully it was approved. I’ll write another post on that process. Essentially, as it was deemed surgery for a life threatening illness (morbid obesity and diabetes), it was agreed that the money should be released.

Getting ready for surgery

My surgery was scheduled for 20 January 2016, and my pre-op preparation began on 1 January 2016. Talk about kicking off the new year with a bang! I gave up my 3L/day Pepsi Max habit cold turkey, and committed to 20 days of Optifast shakes and vegetables (list provided by surgeon’s dietitian). This is the only time I have ever followed a diet 100%!

My pre-op diet consisted of the following:

  • Breakfast – an Optifast shake
  • Lunch – an Optifast shake and 1 cup of allowable veggies
  • Dinner – an Optifast bar and 1 cup of allowable veggies
  • Loads of water

That was it. It was tough the first few days. I suffered from migraines and vomiting from the Pepsi Max withdrawals. I wasn’t particularly hungry, but it was definitely strange to eat such a restrictive diet. No meat, no dairy, no carbs, no soft drink, and no treats. I’m actually shocked that I did so well! I was so committed to having the surgery, that I didn’t even doubt it. The real challenge was keeping the food interesting, and I will share some recipe ideas in a future post for others that are on the pre-op diet. Thankfully I could add in herbs and spices. I did cry one night when my plate broke as I was carrying it to the table, and my precious vegetables fell on the floor!

The reason you must follow this diet prior to surgery is to prepare your body; to reduce size of the liver and the amount of fat surrounding it, and to reduce the risk during surgery. There is the real possibility that you could be on the operating table, and the surgeon isn’t able to perform the surgery. There was no way I was going to risk that happening!! I get so cranky when I read other pre-op patients asking whether they can have a cheat meal prior to surgery, or if it’s okay if they don’t follow the pre-op diet 100%. To me it’s a no brainer. Just do it! It’s for such a short period of time, and the benefits will outweigh what you’re missing out on in the short term.

I’ll end this post with a before photo…stay tuned for Part 2 Surgery

Less Lisa More Life…the before photos…at my heaviest of 147.5kg


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  • Christeen Heyhoe says:

    Thanks for publishing this Lisa. I will look forward to more chapters. Had no idea you were feeling this way

  • Denyse says:

    I remember it well Lisa and applaud you for sharing your story. It helps others as well as yourself to share the stories of our life – good and not so good – and that’s why blogging is a great way to do it. I too will look forward to your sharing over time. Denyse xx

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