Sharon’s Story

I had a Gastric plication (wrap) with New Leaf, Dr Hruby in July 2013. I was 17 stone pre op. My Bmi was 44. At my heaviest I was at least 18st 3. Bmi 48. I am only 5ft 1. I reached healthy BMI 25 (9 ½ stone) within 9 months. I am now 8st 8 and have maintained that for nearly a year. It was the best decision I ever made and I am more grateful to Dr Hruby, New leaf and its amazingly supportive FB forum members than I could ever say.

Here is my story. I have always had weight issues. I got the stage where I knew I couldn’t diet anymore. I couldn’t keep weight off and I was getting heavier and heavier. I felt like a failure. It was affecting my health, my confidence and I was getting desperate and beginning to dislike myself. I think I tried every diet known to humanity over the years. SW, WW, Rosemary Connelly, Atkins, Dukan, low fat, low carb, meal replacement and even diet pills to name just a few. I was always really good at dieting but an expert at gaining the weight back again and then some.

” I got the stage where I knew I couldn’t diet anymore. I couldn’t keep weight off and I was getting heavier and heavier. I felt like a failure..”

I believe I ate out of boredom, addicted to high fat, high carb, savoury foods and I loved to eat and drink. I never knew what real hunger was as I ate enormous amounts and never felt full. My wrap has given me that full button. I now know when I have eaten enough and don’t want anymore. I still love food but these days it doesn’t rule my life. I am much more selective about what I chose to eat and really enjoy and savour food these days.

Weight Loss Surgery was my final option. My absolute, desperate, last resort and not an easy decision to make. I researched weight loss surgery for a year. Initially I was looking mainly at the band. However, the more I read the more it became apparent that there are a lot of complications with the band and it scared me. I couldn’t afford a Sleeve in the UK privately and the NHS told me I wasn’t quite fat enough. I discovered Dr Hruby by accident on another forum and learnt about the wrap. It seemed like the perfect option for me, no aftercare like the band and less extreme and more affordable than the sleeve. I hadn’t even considered an operation abroad before. I was put in touch with New Leaf, joined the Facebook forum and asked a million questions. Everyone on the forum had been or was going through the experience of Weight Loss surgery. I was given as much time as I needed, all my worries and fears answered, reassurance given. I made the decision to book with New Leaf 2 months after joining the forum.

I went to my GP with all the information about Dr Hruby. He researched Dr Hruby and was very impressed with his qualifications, experience and knowledge in the WLS field. My GP gave me full support.

Travelling abroad to a strange country for an operation was terrifying. I took my best friend to support me. I was also put in touch with my (WLS buddy) through the FB forum who was having the operation the same time as me. He is now a lifelong friend.

I needn’t have been worried. The care and dedication of Dr Hruby and his nursing staff are outstanding. We were picked up from the airport and taken to the hospital on the Sunday. The hospital isnt a private clinic, it is a proper hospital, like a Czech NHS. We met the nurses, shown our room which was basic but very clean, with fridge, TV and ensuite. It has the bonus of free wi fi! On the Monday we had numerous tests, which ran like clockwork, with no time to get worried or stressed. We had a long chat with Dr Hruby in the afternoon who gave a lot of reassurance and advice. He is one of the kindest, nicest, dedicated doctors I have ever met.

The best thing I think about the surgery and Dr Hruby is that you stay in the hospital for at least 4 days after the operation with full nursing care. No private clinics or hotels. I was very aware after all my extensive research that complications are rare but usually happen within first couple of days of surgery.

I recovered very quickly and would recommend the hospital and treatment to anyone. They are a brilliant team.

Dr Hruby gave good clear instructions on his rules for WLS to follow after the operation. Making it very clear that it was a tool, not a miracle and the importance of following his weight loss plan.

This is where the New Leaf FB forum was invaluable and essential. I went on it every day for advice, ideas, information, emotional support and reassurance. It is constantly filled with success stories, before during and after pictures, non-scale victories which are inspirational. There is always someone there who answers straight away with expert advice, empathy and help. This helped me enormously with emotional eating, head hunger and to be really strict with myself after the op and followed the rules to the letter. Especially the first 6 months. I could follow people who were ahead of me on my journey those alongside and those following me.

I think that those first 6 months are the hardest, but it’s about learning brand new habits for a lifetime. It wasn’t easy, but actually not hard either. It was about relearning to eat properly, some careful planning around meal times and learning how your brain relates to your tummy. It took a while for my head to get used to things. I now know what real hunger and head hunger is. I know what satisfied is. When I eat, it takes about 15 minutes for my head to catch up. Hence why I used to overeat. Now I stop at 100g – 120g. I always eat protein first, avoid high carbs like rice and pasta and I can now eat a biscuit without wanting to eat the whole packet.

“I finally believe that my brain has learn’t to eat normally without being stressed about food”.

I told everyone I had the op. All my family, friends, and workmates. I couldn’t have done it without their support. They were behind me 100%.

I remained an active member of the forum. They were my lifeline.  I used it every day. As I became more confident and successful I found myself advising and helping others. The forum is full of inspiring, enthusiastic determined people who want everyone to be successful. When I finally reached my “happy” weight, I was supported by the forum in maintaining my weight as I have never achieved that before. Previously I was always either losing weight or gaining weight. Maintaining is a brand new journey which I never believed I would reach and difficult at first to get your head around. It is a totally alien thought process to stand on a set of scales and be happy to have stayed the same after a whole lifetime of wanting the scales to show a weight loss. The FB forum helped me deal with that.

I was honoured to be asked to be an admin for New Leaf forum. I take this role seriously as I feel it is the forum that took as much of a part in my success as the surgery with their endless support. I want everyone to be as successful as me and be there for others who are at the start or on their journey to “normal” weight, health and happiness. I concentrate on diet advice, low carb, high protein living and nutritional advise.  But am there for any question or support that is asked. I will use this forum forever as it keeps me on track. Always.

I love New Leaf and I love Dr Hruby. They have turned my life completely around and I am happier than I have ever been. I will never be able to thank them enough.


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