Peter O’Dwyer has had a huge life change in the past 3 years after he made the big decision to have weight loss surgery.
Peter was 168kg and his weight had become a physical barrier that impaired every aspect of his life but work was one of the biggest struggles.
“I was working shift work in a hot environment, which meant because of my weight I had to drink a lot of water and so forth, the type of work I did meant a lot of walking and physical work and because of the work I was very tired,” Peter said.
Despite his weight taking its toll on Peter’s work life the moment he realised a huge change had to happen was when he was on holiday with his wife.
“When I was in Vietnam, a 10-year-old girl came to me and tried to sell me some fans, I was sitting there eating ice cream out of a coconut and her comment back to me was “you’re a big fat Buddha, always eating,”” he said. “I kept hearing those words in my head every time I ate after that, it really affected and changed me.”
Although he never liked hospitals Peter decided to let go of any reservations he had. He saw his GP here in Gladstone and then traveled to Rockhampton to have the surgery. The surgery to have the stomach sleeve was simple and easy, but after 4 days in the hospital came the beginning of a completely new life.
“Basically, you eat through a straw for 4 weeks after,” Peter describes, “I still have trouble with some foods like bread and dry meat.”
Shortly after having his surgery he experienced some negativity from his peers who thought weight loss surgery was the easy way out but Peter stands behind his decision.
“I copped a few comments, but it’s not their life. It’s not shameful!” he said.
And life is something Peter is now embracing whole heartedly.
“I am much more energetic, I sleep better, I don’t snore as much. I am more active but I require less sleep.”
Peter muses over a photo he has of himself and his wife together wearing a shirt that he used to fit on his own. He is now 105kg and believes without the surgery he’d still be the same weight he was before.
It has been a big journey for Peter, and for his wife, who also has had the surgery and lost over 55kg but they have spent the last 3 years falling back in love with themselves and each other, “it has its benefit, believe you me,” he laughs.
Weight loss surgery is not a cheap option, costing Peter and his wife $7000 but investing in their lives is something that has proven to be invaluable.
“Just do it, don’t talk about it, have your goals set and stick to them.”
To hear more about Peter and his health journey, tune into the Gladstone News podcast on our Facebook page.