Hello, I’m new here….

Hello, I’m Melissa, it’s nice to meet you…

Welcome to my blog! I’m a 28 year old from Auckland, New Zealand now living life as a post-op gastric bypass patient just over a year out from my surgery. I started this ride weighing in at 132.2 kg and dreamed of getting down to my goal weight of 65 kgs. Through the help of bariatric surgery I have surpassed my goal weight and have done far better than I ever imagined I would.

People assume that gastric bypass surgery is the easy or cheats way out but it is far from a silver bullet to end all of your weight problems. It is merely a tool to enable fast initial weight loss through malnutrition and malabsorption. Eventually, after about a year post-op these parts of the tool don’t function as amazingly as they did immediately post-op and now it’s down to me to maintain this incredible weight loss of 70 kgs.

At the moment my weight is bouncing around between about 62 and 64 kgs and I’m now embarking on the road of maintaining my weight loss and making this a permanent change for life. The idea of this blog is that it is going to be a post-op gastric bypass lifestyle blog showing the lifestyle which is brand new to me, that it takes to continue the success of having lost so much weight and maintaining this new healthy weight. I feel I have some awesome pieces of advice and since I tend to reallllly think about things it has led to some pretty big realizations along the way. It got me thinking that maybe these could be helpful to other post-op bariatric people and that it would be great to share knowledge.

There is seemingly endless information online about the surgeries and the stages you go through in the first year or so post-op but not so much when it comes to strategies and maintenance on a longer term scale. Lots of the information online about bariatric life is American based (which is greatly different to what’s the norm in NZ) or is generated by the clinics offering the surgery. My goal, through this blog, is to give a real life narration to what life post-op is really like and how to maximise the tool I have been given.

My head is brimming with ideas but I’m going post things like recipes, some of the head and emotional issues that you encounter, protein, protein and more protein in relation to all things food, product reviews and also realizations and things I have learnt along the way about myself, my body and gastric bypass surgery.

If you are thinking of having or have had some sort of bariatric surgery why not leave me a message below and introduce yourself to me, I would love to get to know you and what topics you would be interested in hearing from me on in the future!

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There are 25 comments for this article
  1. Tammy at 10:29 am


    You know me already, but I am just going to note down here anyway ;).

    I am coming to the end of my pre-surgery process (Wee!!). I have a meeting with Mr Booth on Thursday of this week to set my surgery date which should be within the next month (ahh). I am also having a gastric bypass! You look amazing and it’s your initial story on the Beauty Review website that has made me take the journey as well.

    Thank you!!! 😀

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 6:53 pm

      Hello Tammy!
      Thanks for introducing yourself. I’m lucky enough to know you already and you’re awesome but I love that you want to share your story here too! You don’t know how humbled and happy I am that I was big part of helping you to take that step. Last time we talked about the actual procedure you were undecided so I’m glad you’ve reached a decision about which one to have. I will be reposting my Beauty Review article here soon!
      I’m really looking forward to watching your journey through and after your surgery 😀
      Thanks for reading I really appreciate it!

  2. Pauline at 12:25 pm

    Hi Melissa,

    I just had my surgery date set yesterday! August 17th 2015.

    My journey started 9 years ago! I had a lapband procedure at the age of 32, it was the best thing I ever did. My start weight was 137kg. I never reached goal on the band though, but was very happy at 85kg.
    I suffered from ‘heartburn’ for 2 years, and in June 2014, I was rushed to hospital in severe pain… to have my gallbladder removed. After recovering from that surgery, I had ongoing crampy / sharp pain around the same area, and I was told it was just scarring and healing… eventually, in September I pushed a bit harder to say I think its something more than ‘healing’, and I had a range of tests which concluded in finding the band had eroded through my stomach. The band was visible on the INSIDE of my stomach on the camera.

    Needless to say, it was very quickly removed, and i was terrified of gaining the weight back.

    Bodies are amazing things… as soon as the band was out, I was hungry. My tool was gone.
    I gained 6 kilos in the first 2 weeks post op… on a liquid diet?! By Christmas I had gained 20kg.
    I went back to my original surgeon which was private, but he has retired. I thought I was going to have to pay for it all over again… which I couldnt manage. So, I was referred back to Dr Booth, who removed the band… and after 3 long months, they finally said they would do my revision. I was so happy.
    I have been seeing him and his team for the past 6 months. They have collectively told me on a number of occasions that I can choose my surgery revision… Sleeve or Bypass.

    I have been anxting over making the right decision, done so much research, asked lots of questions, but its been such a tough decision given the pros and cons for each.

    Yesterday, after the surgeons have all been leaning towards the less invasive sleeve for months, I finally decided it would be best to go on their advice, and so I said ‘OK.. lets go for the Sleeve’ at which point, Dr Booth said ‘You cant have a sleeve, there will be too much scarring from the band’. Sigh. I did mention that I had asked that question SPECIFICALLY of one of the other doctors in a previous visit, and they said no, its fine…

    SO… I am now having the bypass surgery on August 17th! Yay!

    I have been reading your posts, and I am so far finding them very informative, and its great you are local, a kiwi perspective. America seems to be so geared up for bariatric post op life… it feels a bit more ‘fend for yourself’ down here! I am looking forward to reading the rest of your insights, and will definitely subscribe to get your new postings.

    You look amazing by the way!

    Thank you for the blog!

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 3:45 pm

      Wow Pauline what a journey! I bet you are really looking froward to your surgery date, good luck! You will be fine though 😀
      That’s exactly why I started the blog, It’s really hard to find NZ specific information and especially anything for over a year or so out from surgery.

      I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying my blog and finding it informative. I look forward to hearing how you get through and how you go after surgery. Feel free to email me (through the contact page) anytime you like 😀

  3. Kerin at 8:34 pm

    Hi Melissa, congrats on yr awesome weight loss, you look incredible. My BIG question however is what has happened with all the excess skin?

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 8:44 pm

      Hey Kerin, I have been pretty lucky in terms of my skin. My age has a lot to do with it and I guess I’m just lucky to have skin that’s coped well it it. I have a few bits on the top insides of my arms, top insides of my thighs and the bottom of my tummy that I won’t be showing off to everyone but if that’s the tradeoff then I’m okay with that. I’m thinking about doing a post with pictures showing it soon I just need to get the courage up to do it! Thank for reading my blog I really appreciate it!

  4. Melissa C at 2:28 pm

    So i have clicked here by way of Beauty Review… and I’m digging in starting at the beginning of our blog as I’m currently looking to get bypass Surgery. Sitting at 128kg and 5ft1 so it’s a huge task ahead. Currently going down the route of trying for public funding (did you get public or did you go private?) and if not i’m going to suck it up and pay the 20k as I can’t keep on like this.
    Looking forward to reading through your entries to see the trials and tribulations that come with the journey. You look like a totally different person post surgery. Super amazing and you definitely look much much happier!

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 3:53 pm

      Hi Melissa! I’m so glad you found my blog 😀 I had my surgery done on the public system. It takes a while to get it done this way but in some ways I think it’s worth the wait. Thank you for you kind words 😀

  5. Kate at 8:21 pm

    Hi, I’ve just stumbled across your blog and have just read and then cried for like an hour because today I was told I was a candidate for Gastric Sleeve Surgery. I don’t really know what to expect post op but intend on reading all of your blogs to find out. 🙂

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 8:32 pm

      Hi Kate, welcome to my blog! I really hope you find some useful and inspiring stuff here for you. It’s quite a journey and life does change quite a bit afterwards but in my opinion its all worth it. Happy reading!

  6. Kirstyn at 5:43 pm

    Hey Melissa
    So glad I came across your blog, I’m currently talking over this option with my doctor I’ve always been a big person all my life try so many things to lose the weight and nothing really worked. I’m heading to go my blood test this week and then doctor can do my referral. I have no idea what to expect really only know one other person who had it done but look forward to reading you blog.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 7:41 pm

      Hi Kirstyn, I’m glad you found me! I had a hard time finding good information from people who had been through it when I was researching before I had my surgery so I hope you find some useful things here. Good luck on your journey, if bariatric surgery is the right thing for you then hopefully my blog will help make you more sure of that. Happy reading!

  7. Donna Drummond at 8:19 am

    Hi Melissa

    I am in the process of researching and “organizing” bariatric surgery. I am so pleased to find your blog as it is invaluable for me.

    I have always been “the big one” in my family with all my siblings being slim and svelte so you can imagine the psychological impact that has had on me. I have dieted since my teens but as I am now in my late 50’s have decided to take the plunge and live my life as I want to be. I am so tired of always being told whether I have lost or gained weight and all the ‘helpful” suggestions that people make. I may not be huge but as I am back at a size 18 and not looking like getting any smaller it is time. I look forward to wearing clothes and not hiding behind long flowing cardigans that cover me, wearing a swimsuit and getting back into the running I used to do.

    Can’t wait to read through the remainder of your blog.


    • Melissa Peaks Author at 4:00 pm

      Hi Donna, I hope things are going well and the process isn’t too arduous! I’m glad you’re finding my blog helpful, I really wanted some experiential information when I was coming up to surgery so that’s why I started my blog. I’m glad to hear that you’ve finally decided to do this for yourself and make the rest of your life for you. Please let me know if there’s any topics that you would like to hear from me on that I haven’t already covered. Happy reading! Melissa

  8. Crystal at 9:26 am

    Hey Girl,

    I have seen your posts pop up on a weight loss surgery page I am part of. Through I would introduce myself as I start back from the beginning of your blog and work my way through along the way. I recently shared your ‘helping someone through weightless surgery’ blog entry, it was great to have that to share with my partner. We often joke when I’m in a funk about the ‘BRING ME THE DORETOS’ comment 🙂 I am at the end of my pre op journey and am waiting my surgery date and am on the maintenance phase until that time.

    I have been having lots of thoughts around what surgery options best for me and how life will be post op – I am so glad for the recourses available on your blog to help guide me so thanks so much for sharing. I will be reading through your posts over the next few months for sure.

    You are doing such an amazing job and are a great advocate for the surgery. I too am hoping to have kids 1-2 years post op so am very excited to follow your pregnancy journey.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 10:40 am

      Hey Crystal, Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog! I’m so glad to hear that post was helpful to you and your partner. I hope you get a surgery date, I found the waiting to get through the process one of the hardest bits. Good luck with your future plans! A whole new world will open up to you after surgery and hopefully the physical side of having kids will be much easier for you!

  9. Betsy Otternesss at 4:57 am

    Hi Melissa,
    I go in tomorrow! I have quite the story to tell and I’m thankful for stumbling upon yours! Here’s to better health 2018!
    Best regards,
    Betsy O

  10. Renae at 10:48 am

    Hi Melissa

    I’ve just started researching gastro surgery’s and came across your blog I was just wondering what we’re your first steps of getting public surgery ? I’m only 28 but I have struggled all my life with being over weight and of corse like any one else over weight I’ve tried to lose it and some times I’ve succeeded but then gained it all back.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 12:05 pm

      Hi Renae, finding out as much as you can will let you decide if it’s right for you! Your story sounds very similar to mine, I was 27 when I had my bypass. I started the process off by visiting my GP to talk about it and asked to be referred and it went from there.

      • Renae at 12:27 pm

        So I went to my gp and applied for a public service gastro sleeve and my gp was so helpful and egar to help me any way we applied and I was accepted the two weeks later my gp rang and said because the circumstances have changed I’m no longer suitable? Do you have any advice that could help me?

        • Melissa Peaks Author at 7:25 pm

          Hey Renae, oh that really sucks. It seems the DHB’s change the criteria on a whim. You can try and find out what’s changed and see if you can somehow make the criteria work for you. If you don’t qualify through the public system the only other option is to go private. I think there may be one or two health insurance companies in NZ who may pay some towards the cost but not all unfortunately.

  11. Nikki at 7:29 pm

    I found your blog when looking for opifast reviews. Im going to read more of your blog as it’s nice to read about “real” people going through this. I’m 43 years old and very overweight and unhappy. I’ve tried dieting but put the weight back on. I have chronic asthma and sleep apnoea so want to live a healthier longer life. I am considering having surgery and meeting my gp tomorrow. He suggested it a little while ago but I was not ready or in the right frame of mind. At this stage I want more information. I am actually quite scared of the process. I am under no impression that this will be easy. Is there any advice that you give that would help me. By the way you look fabulous, you have a beautiful friendly smile

  12. Tanisha Lee at 6:33 am

    Hello. I’ve found your wonderful blog and have traveled all the way back to your first post because I am 5 days post-op and already struggling mentally. I want to thank you in advance for documenting your journey and encouraging me that this was a good decision. I look forward to taking this journey with you help. Thank you.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 9:29 am

      Congrats for joining us on the losers bench Tanisha Lee. Keep in mind why you did this and remember that these early stages will pass and you will hardly remember them in years to come. I hope you find some useful stuff in my posts!

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