Surgery proves a lifesaver for man
HIS clothes had to be specially made, exercising was a painful chore so exhausting he gave up, and junk food was the easiest and the most frequent meal.
It was a life Geoff Lane, a self-professed big man, hated and one he was determined to change.
He feared he wouldn’t live to see the men his two boys would become and would miss out on those all-important moments at the park with his growing family.
So, at 28 years of age, the 230kg man sought to change his life and live long enough to meet his future grandkids.
“I tried every diet under the sun but I just couldn’t keep the weight off,” Geoff, 31, said, who now weighs a healthy 101kg and enjoys an active and energetic life.
“Somehow it always came back.”
Three years ago, Geoff got a call from his mother telling him about gastric banding, a minimally invasive keyhole surgical procedure that has helped thousands of Australians win their battle against obesity.
For a cost of anywhere up to $15,000, a small silicone band is tied around the upper stomach, creating a small pouch and a narrow outlet which reduces the person’s food intake and makes them feel fuller, quicker.
The logic is simple - decrease the meal size to decrease the waist line.
“People think $15,000 is a lot of money but I would’ve paid $2 million if I had known it would be this effective,” he said.
“People think its cheating, but who cares?
“It doesn’t hurt anyone, and it’s not as simple as people think because you still have to eat right and you still have to exercise.”
Geoff was advised to lose about 10kg before going into surgery to reduce the chance of complications.
A few weeks later, he woke from the operation to start work on getting his weight down, and keeping it there.
Although there are risks associated with the operation, he hasn’t been back to the doctor in about 12 months.
A concern of lap band patients is they won’t be able to eat their favourite foods, but Geoff said he can still tuck into a T-bone, as long as he chews it properly.
“I used to chew three times and swallow,” he said.
“Chicken is the easiest to eat, and pork, but as long as I chew properly, I can eat the same foods.”
Geoff, a father of two with a baby on the way, hopes his success will inspire others to take up a healthy lifestyle.
“If my story gives just one person the confidence to go and get the surgery done, it’ll be worth it,” he said.
“My mates have been great and they saw how I had struggled to lose weight before.
“I’ve had their support, and my family’s support, all the way along.”
Gastric banding facts
Australia’s leading weight loss surgery
Must be over 18 years old
Must have a history of failed weight loss attempts
Can’t be pregnant
Not recommended for heavy alcohol consumers
Must have a BMI of more than 30, higher for overseas
Band is removable at any time
Low risk procedure
Helps maintain weight loss