A woman in Bridgend spent £6,000 on a gastric band surgery in order to lose weight but ended up feeling miserable when it didn’t work.
Helga Rees, 52, decided it was time to opt for a private gastric band surgery when she struggled to tie her shoe laces without losing her breath.
But she’s calling the procedure as the “biggest waste of money” as the operation failed to have the desired effect on Helga in 2013.
A gastric band is a weight loss surgery where a band is placed around the stomach in order to prevent a person from eating as much to feel full.
However, Helga said she ended up eating small amounts of rubbish “as it was easier to swallow.”
She said: “This was not the magic bullet I expected and found that I wouldn’t eat much but what I did eat was rubbish as it was easier to swallow.”The gastric band was a complete waste of money as it did not address the issues I had around food and over-eating.
“A lot of people who do it think it is an easier way out but I am proof it doesn’t always work.”
Helga, who hails from Zimbabwe but currently lives in Bridgend, said the procedure failed to address her poor eating habits.
Helga, who hails from Zimbabwe but currently lives in Bridgend, said the procedure failed to address her poor eating habits, which resulted in ten years of yoyo dieting, and she ended up gaining even more weight as time went on.
She said: “I had gotten utterly fed-up with my weight and how I looked and felt.
“Getting dressed no longer held any joy.
“I had a cupboard full of lovely clothes that I could not fit into – some still with their tags on.
“It was disheartening and it felt really hard to find any joy in anything when I felt so overweight, sluggish and tired all the time.
“It didn’t help that I liked all things sweet and savoury and Christmas was a festival of gluttony and excess.
“My tipping point came on a family holiday home to Zimbabwe to see family and seeing the photos where I looked, in my eyes, so big, uncomfortable and camera-shy.
“Looking at the photos I was so ashamed at what I looked like and, after Christmas came and went, I decided on the spot to join a Slimming World class.”Helga started Slimming World in February 2023 and lost two stone and two pounds since then, she is just 11lbs away from her target weight.
Talking about the changes to her diet, Helga said: “As long you pile a third of your plate with the green and colourful stuff, you will see the pounds come off.
“My IBS symptoms have calmed down and my mind set and habits have changed so much.”
She decided to become a Slimming World consultant herself, and hosts classes at Ynysawdre Community Centre in Aberkenfig every Tuesday at 5.30pm.Helga concluded: “When I started, I wanted to lose weight so that I could change my shoe laces and breathe at the same time.
“Now I can enjoy opening my cupboard and picking anything I want and knowing it will fit and look good.
“I have a stone to go before I reach my target weight but I am going to continue and will, no doubt, reach my goal which I never, all those months ago, thought I would achieve.
But I am armed with so many tools that Slimming World has taught me and I will never go back to that miserable, defeated woman ever again.”