Irma Van

In my life I was always a bit heavy; slowly it got worse and worse. At one point I lost a lot of weight with help of a friend but I could not keep up and I gained all of it back…and more.

In January 2011 I had to start taking medication to control my high blood pressure which was a big sign for me that I had to start taking care of my health. I had high blood pressure, my cholesterol was way too high and I always had pain in my knees when I was walking. It was hard to walk, to do fun things with my friends and just to enjoy my life. I was only 37 and way too young to give up on a healthy life.

Through a friend I got in touch with Dr Nelson and after a lot of research I decided to have gastric surgery.

On October 12 2011, the day before my birthday I gave myself the best birthday gift ever; a new life!

I had a gastric bypass surgery.

The first few months after the surgery were not easy; it was hard to learn how to eat again and of course there were moments that I was wondering why on earth I had done this to myself. Now 8 months later I know exactly why I did this; I gave myself the change to a new life; a life in which I feel healthy and happy with whom I am. I now know that I was trapped in my big overweight body and I was missing out on so many things. All the things I can no longer eat do not matter with the quality of life I have been given!

It now is 4 years since my surgery and my life has completely changed. I have lost around 70kg and I have been around the same weight for the past year and half or so. I continue to eat healthy; I eat a mostly vegetarian diet; I do eat fish and sometimes chicken but mostly I eat vegetarian. I can still only eat small portions and that is okay. Actually when I go to a restaurant and get a real big plate I seem to lose my appetite and I cannot eat at all.

I had several corrective skin removal surgeries, which are worth it to really adapt to this new body.

I love to go running and I have ran twice already an 5k race…it is my goal to run at least one each year!

I also go to the gym and I love doing Pilates. Pilates has really helped me to adapt to my new body and I am actually studying to become a certified Pilates instructor.

I like to inspire others to start their weight loss journey too….it is not an easy ride and the Gastric Bypass is for sure not the magical solution; it takes hard work and determination to lose the weight but life on the “other” side is totally worth it.