4 minute read
Paula Bennett in 2020 (left) after gastric bypass surgery helped her lose 50kg – right, before surgery in August 2017. Photos/Mark Mitchell/Supplied
I turned 53 a few weeks ago. I’ve never understood people who don’t like to declare their age. I’ve earned each of those 53 years and my wrinkles and
the sags, bumps and scars all tell a story of my life to date. I can’t say that I like getting old and the body hurting me a little more but, as they say, the alternative to aging is worse.
A few years ago I decided that I had to do something about my aches and pains. Most of them were in my knees because I have arthritis. Most of the pain was caused by being very overweight and putting a lot of pressure on my joints. So I made the huge decision to have weight loss surgery. I had a full gastric bypass. This is where they effectively bypass your stomach, and over time you build a new, smaller stomach. This is quite a major surgery and pretty much re-probed my insides. It’s not something to be taken lightly, but once I decided to have surgery, I went for the more extreme – go big or go home (by the way, all those games of words are intentional).
Then there was the decision to share something so private. I get a lot of comments from people about the clothes I wear and how I like bright colors etc. I knew people would notice my weight loss and I felt like by not telling people how I lost weight I was lying.
My body, my decision – and one I’ve never regretted. That was four and a half years ago. I lost almost 50 kg in 12 months. Over the last two years of Covid I’ve put on about 3kg – I’m thinking about losing them but they don’t really want to lose.
It was the best decision I made. I feel fitter, I like the clothes more, I jump at the chance to try something new, and I’m not huffing and sweating as much. I feel better.
Now, if I haven’t already, I’m going to overshare. If I eat too much or too quickly, I will vomit. For the first 12 months after my operation, as my body readjusted, I threw up a lot. Now it’s not very often, but I still do it once in a while. If I eat sugar before anything else, I get dizzy, sweaty, and have heart palpitations. I sneeze when I’m full, which in the Covid world has made people avoid me. I can drink wine, I don’t like bubbles and I wish I had never eaten chips. I haven’t had to have any excess skin removed and I’ve never had Botox (but I reserve the right to do so anytime I feel like it). I am still struggling with my body image and until about six months ago I still had pain in my knees.
I joined SRW Nutraceutical Company about eight months ago and now the pain is gone. I learned through them that I am two ages. My Chronological Age and DNA Age – and DNA Age can be improved and help me age healthier. There are things I still want to do and I need my body to follow me.
I took the test and my DNA age is 55 – two ahead of my timeline. I was surprised it was only two years due to the stress, overwork, lack of sleep, wine drinking, lack of exercise and poor diet I put my body through for many years. It was a wake-up call. I now take natural supplements, try to exercise and sleep more, and I have certainly reduced my stress. I realized that I had to take care of my interior if I wanted my exterior to look healthy.
Fifty-three feels good and I’m looking forward to my health journey, but I still plan to go scream in my grave with a chardonnay in my hand – hopefully not for a while yet.