WEIGHT LOSS: Phil Dillon hopes to fit into slimmer pants after his surgery.
WEIGHT LOSS: Phil Dillon hopes to fit into slimmer pants after his surgery. Warren Lynam

It's a mental battle three weeks into gastric sleeve surgery

IT'S been three weeks post-op and I have to say it's not been a walk in the park.

Physically there are no problems following the gastric sleeve surgery.

I have seen Dr Ian Baxter, my surgeon, and also paid a visit to the dietitian, who is also happy with my progress.

Mentally is where the "problems" lie.

In my last column I spoke about the stages that you have to go through following the surgery.

At the moment I am in the stage of pureed food which initially was not that hard to cope with and, in fact, was a bit of a novelty.

But the reality kicks in when you have to turn a decent-looking meal of meat-and-two-veg into baby food for every meal.

It is quite draining, especially for someone who for 30-odd years has just shovelled food into their gob without even thinking.

Now after surgery I am having to learn how to eat food slowly, savour the flavours and think about what is going into my body and it has not been easy.

I have managed it because I made the decision to have the life-changing operation and only I can change my lifestyle.

And that is what the sleeve surgery is, a lifestyle change.

The ultimate goal is to lose weight, but the surgery is not like a magic pill.

I, like anyone who takes the step to have the surgery, have to change everything about my attitude to food.

Without that attitude change even a gastric sleeve won't guarantee you lose weight.

Only hard work and dedication will help me reach my goal and that continues as I look forward to soft food before getting back to what you could call normality.