‘I lost 19kg and got my health back nat­u­rally, with­out the need for an op­er­a­tion’

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - In Our Experience -

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 dier­ent 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 suered 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 eect 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 suered 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 dier­ence 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

– fan­tas­tic. w&h weigh­less.co.za or call 0861 100 551 to find one near you.

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