‘I lost 19kg and got my health back naturally, without the need for an operation’
APRIL PARDOE, 42, works as a PA. She lives with her husband, David, and daughter, Caitie, 18.
When I compare the exhausted April, who hauled herself painfully into 2018, with today’s April, bounding into 2019 full of energy and anticipation, they are like two dierent women. Last year, I was struggling to process the results of an endoscopy I’d had following months of crippling abdominal pain. The procedure revealed inflammation of the gall bladder and a hiatus hernia, which is when your stomach squeezes up into your chest cavity. I’d been told an operation under general anaesthetic was the only way to fix the problem. I was terrified of going under the knife, but also knew that I could not continue to live my life in such unbearable pain. I had no idea how I would get through the next day, let alone the next year.
My first symptoms appeared in September 2017. I suered attacks involving horrific cramps – as if someone had my insides in a red-hot vice – and I’d sweat, shake and vomit for anything between half an hour and two hours at a time. At first, the attacks seemed to be linked to things I ate or drank – alcohol, for example, seemed to trigger them. But they gradually intensified so that by January 2018 I was in constant pain. By that March, things had reached a tipping point. I was in a new job and kept having to disappear into the loos to be sick. I couldn’t concentrate and was constantly tearful. My GP prescribed tablets, but they didn’t help. I had a scan and the specialist advised that I should have the operation, but I was desperate to avoid this at all costs.
One day, I noticed a poster at work about a weight-loss support group. I’d read that losing weight might help my symptoms, but struggled to manage a low-fat diet without any parameters, and hadn’t lost anything at all. I decided that this was worth a try and joined. In the first week, I lost a little under 3kg. It was just the motivation that I needed to stick with it, and after that I lost up to 1kg a week, every week.
I’ve loved seeing my body change shape, but the most amazing thing has been the immediate and dramatic eect on my health. After just two months, I noticed that my symptoms were easing. The attacks were fewer, less frequent and less violent. By the end of summer they’d disappeared completely, as had the symptoms of the asthma I’d suered with for years. Constant pain wears you down, so it’s hard to explain just how amazing it is when it finally goes away.
I’ve lost over
19kg, dropping from a size 18 to a size 10 or 12 and, coming into 2019, I can walk faster and further than ever before. I was never lacking confidence, but taking ownership of my health problems and making changes to help heal myself has given me a huge boost.
My hobby is amateur dramatics, and the weight loss has also really made a dierence to the kind of roles I play. Instead of portraying my usual battle-axe characters, I’m now playing the sexier roles! I’m looking forward to a pain-free 2019 where I look – and feel
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