Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust runs a Weight Management Service.
The service, which has around 100 patients referred to it every year, is run by an endocrinologist, dietician and psychologist who work with patients both pre and post weight loss surgery.
They also provide support for patients who wish to lose weight without surgical intervention.
Simon Prouse, 36, underwent weight loss surgery in 2018 following a lifetime of battling with his weight.
From the support he has been given by the weight management team at the Great Western Hospital, Simon has made amazing progress with his weight, losing an impressive 11 stone.
He has also made improvements to his family’s lifestyle and diet, and his wife and children are now also making great progress in losing weight too.
Here, Simon tells his weight loss story.
“All my life, I have struggled with my weight. I have tried numerous diets but nothing seemed to work for me. When I reached 30 stone, I became depressed and went to my GP for help.
“She referred me to a dietician at the Great Western Hospital and I was promptly invited in for a one-to-one appointment. Here, we talked about the types of food I ate and it became apparent that my carbohydrate and portion sizes were just too big.
“After a lot of discussion, I had decided that surgery was the best way forward for me. I had seen my father undergo weight loss surgery and the results were astounding, so I was keen to also have surgery to help with my weight.
“The dietician suggested that I join the group sessions held at the hospital- this was an absolute life-changer for me. I got to meet people in the same situation as myself; some had already undergone surgery and some who had opted to lose weight naturally. This gave me a true insight into all the options, and I learnt so much from these group sessions.
“The dieticians were fantastic, and we received round the clock support and advice on portion control and what foods are best to eat with your family.
“My family have always been larger, we regularly consumed fast food and takeaways, but I could take all the advice I was learning in my group sessions and share it at home too. I managed to lose six stone pre-op, but amazingly my wife and children were also losing weight from the changes in lifestyle that I was sharing with them.
“In 2018, I completed a three week course, which gave me a lot of in-depth information on the operation itself. I also had the chance to meet with dieticians for a more intense overview of how my lifestyle would need to change, as well as psychologists. This made me feel at ease as I knew that the team were checking on my mental and physical wellbeing to ensure I was fit for surgery.
“Everybody being considered for surgery must lose 10 per cent of their weight beforehand to show a willingness to change. I found this quite easy, as my children are my incentive and I wanted nothing more than to just play football and enjoy life with them.
“At a local surgery centre, I underwent a sleeve gastrectomy, a procedure where 80 percent of the stomach is removed. This also meant that I was left with decreased concentrations of the hormones that make you feel hunger.
“This was the best decision I have ever made. Since the start of my journey, I have gone from 29.9 stone to 18.9 stone. I lost six stone before the operation, and a further five stone post-op. I’ve gone from a 50 inch waist to just 36 inches.
“I am continuing to attend the group sessions and believe that the aftercare we are offered is so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep the weight I have lost off. My wife, children and I would like to say a big thank you to the team at GWH for the hard-work they put into looking after people like me.
“Everything I have learnt from the GWH weight management team has been a lifesaver- I am now half the man I was.”
Anybody who would like to be considered for the GWH Weight Management Service should speak to their GP for a referral.