She is an administrator for a major insurance company. She is happily married, has two adult children and a retired cat. One of the reasons that she made the decision to undergo a Gastric Sleeve operation was that she had been in a ski accident which resulted in a serious knee injury. But the decision also came after 20 years of failed attempts at dieting and dreams of a healthy life. Now came the chance to lose weight once and for all. And to actually maintain it. Lilian Philblad took the chance.
"If I had the opportunity to do this twenty years ago,
I had not hesitated for a second"
“I joined the Weight Watchers -94, but I’ve struggled with my weight throughout my life. There have been hundreds of dieting attempts, back and forth, as none of them led anywhere. Sure, I lost weight, but it never took me very long before I had gained it all back again – often more than I weighed before the diet”
Lilian says that her path to weight loss has always has gone wrong. Despite periods of exercise, her love for food has usually been greater than her effort. Chasing calories with Weight Watchers became a natural part of her everyday life, but it was primarily a zero-sum game where she was focusing on the wrong things, according to Lilian.
Lilian believes that the decision to undergo surgery was preceded by a maturation process in which she was struggling with over weight as well as with her self-image and her inner thoughts. The great awakening came after a ski accident in Salen a couple of years ago, where her knee was injured. Unable to exercise and because of her bad eating habits, which got worse because she was feeling sorry for herself, resulted in that the scale one day read 106 kilos.
"I was really depressed and contacted a hospital for further consultation. But over the phone, I was told that I weighed five kilos too little to be eligible for a Gastric Sleeve operation. Disregarding that message, I continued to look online and soon found the Nordic Center for Surgery. There, they saw the overall picture: my injured knee, years of dieting and my mental attitude. They simply felt that I was ready for the surgery."
The first meeting with NCK to the surgery itself, went quickly. Lilian learned everything about the careful preparation of the operation. She read about food intake after surgery and she was familiar with all routines and post-treatment procedures, from the operation to the first three weeks living with a reduced stomach
"I felt very safe throughout the entire journey."
"I’ll never forget that day, in May 2014. I was on a training day with my job and slipped away a bit earlier. I came to Linkoping and checked in at NCK. There I was allowed to shower, get ready and just half an hour later I was on my way to surgery", says Lilian.
"Everything that followed: the awakening, the first meal, the hotel room, the thoughtful staff and the professional treatment. It may sound silly but they really made me feel like a princess. I felt very safe throughout this entire journey."
But how long does it take after the surgery for the patient to notice the effect? Immediately, Lilian claims. She says that she brought her soup to the hotel room and ate it for three consecutive days, and she simply could not eat all of it at once.
"The only thing that was tough after the surgery, was that I needed fuel for the first time in a way I was not used to. As soon as my new, reduced stomach got empty, my bad temper came, it hurt and I became stressed. When that happened, I had to snack on something immediately. It was like my stomach had an on or off switch, but it passed after a couple of weeks", she says. "I regularly met with a dietician after the surgery and I learned a lot." "For example, now I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast every day instead of oatmeal, it suits me a lot better, and it is actually something that lets you last longer. I started to eat normal food after about three weeks."
Lilian has also started working out. Each week, she performs two strength training sessions, but the exercise sessions still takes place on the exercise bike, as her knee has not yet been restored. Another positive effect of the Gastric Sleeve surgery, which Lilian points out, is that she gets a stomach ache if she eats sweets. In addition, she has noticed that she is unable to handle alcohol to the same extent as before.
"It’s perfect for me who has been in bad shape throughout my life, that my body now says no to two of the worst calorie busters, sugar and alcohol. I still like going to a restaurant, but now I order an appetizer or soup."Lilian is now down to 85 kilos and has been losing half a kilo a week since her surgery. Her stated goal is to get down to 75 kilos and then to maintain that weight. Or as she herself says, "The battle is to reach the finish line and then to stay there."