Tia’s inspiring story about her struggle with obesity and wanting to make a real change in her life.
Tia is part of our Teen Time program, which provides bariatric surgery for teenagers in Perth.
Bariatric Surgery for Teenagers (Perth) – Tia’s Story
I’m Tia. I’m 17. I had the gastric sleeve when I was 16. I was 112 kilograms. I actually used to lock myself in my room a lot and not actually come out of my room.
I was about a size 20. I was getting sick and it was dangerous for me to be at the weight I was. Like I didn’t go out of the house and I didn’t spend time with my friends. Random people, just anyone really would call me names like whale or just outright fat and it was just – it really got me down.
I Tried Everything
I’ve tried every dieting, every exercise. Every method we could think of, I had tried and it just didn’t work. Because of like my weight, I couldn’t do things that are typical. What was I? Fifteen, a 15-year-old could do. I couldn’t go shopping with my friends and find clothes that fit me and I couldn’t just go out and feel confident about myself. I got tired quicker or I just wasn’t able to do it because of how big I was.
Different Health Problems
I was in and out of like the hospital with different health problems. For example I crushed everything to my knee or I also had problems with like my kidney and it was one of those problems that led us to find out I had a fatty liver and it was kind of my tipping point where I was like I don’t want to live this life anymore.
Mum had already had weight loss surgery and she was a success story and basically she would kind of discuss that option beforehand and we kind of thought, oh, well this might be an option for us. So mum was already doing like a little bit of research into it.
We Got A Referral From Our GP
We went to the GP, asked for a referral. One of the things I had to do was I had to write a letter explaining why I wanted to go through with the surgery and I also had to see a psychologist so she can make sure I was a good fit to have the surgery to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons. The only reason originally for the surgery was to be healthier. I just didn’t want to be like that anymore.
Just After My 16th Birthday
It was just after my 16th birthday and we made it at a time. So it was in school holidays so it wouldn’t interrupt any of my learning and basically we came to the hospital, got prepared and I’m not going to lie. That’s about the last thing I remember of that day.
Straight After My Bariatric Surgery
Honestly next couple of days, the hardest thing to get used to was the fact that it was difficult to drink water even and they were trying to get me to be able to drink water, which I couldn’t do properly.
The only difference at first was how much I could eat and like the food I could eat. You don’t get back to being able to eat regular food until quite far into the recovery process.
I Began To Lose Weight Quickly
It just went, like it just started dropping off. Then so before the surgery, I was 112 kilograms and now I’m 65. So – and now I’m a size eight. Quite a big drop. No more bullying, which also feels amazing.
I Like More Diverse Food Now
I actually order more diverse things now. My taste buds have changed. I like more foods now, which is kind of weird. I actually get double the value for my money. So I can order a meal and then eat until I’m like comfortably full.
And I Save Money
I then get the rest in a doggie bag and take it home and then have that for lunch tomorrow, like the next day. So that’s pretty good because things work out cheaper.
It’s Good If You Put Effort Into It
I think it’s a good thing if people are willing to put effort into it. If you were to eat too much constantly, your stomach could stretch to its normal size again and you would gain the weight back again.
If You Genuinely Want To Make A Real Change
If someone is eligible for the surgery and they are doing it for the right reasons and they genuinely want to change their life around and they’re willing to put the work in after, then they should go for it.
My friends are actually all really supportive. They had seen what my life was like before the surgery and they saw how much more confident I became and how much happier I was. I’m out constantly. Mum would say that I’m never home and when I am home, she asks who the stranger in her house is.
Mercy Bariatrics Perth
Find out more about our Teen Time program which is dedicated to bariatric surgery for teenagers.