A woman who lost 59 kilos now saves thousands of dollars on clothes – by shopping in the kids’ section – after spending $7,700 on gastric bypass surgery.
Katie Chadwick, 37, can fit into clothing intended for teenagers after travelling to Latvia for a gastric bypass in January 2022.
The mum-of-two had gained weight after indulging in three or four weekly takeaways – often eating a large Dominos pizza by herself.
The self-confessed secret eater would eat a whole packet of biscuits and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream each evening.
After attempting quick fix diets, Ms Chadwick found her weight fluctuated over the years – at her biggest she was 120kg and wearing a size 24.
As an at-home carer, Ms Chadwick got a shock in October 2021 when one of her bariatric patients passed away due to their weight.
She sought help from her GP who said she would qualify for a gastric bypass in the UK – but there was a five-year waitlist.
After becoming “hyper fixated” on the idea of getting the procedure, Ms Chadwick booked surgery abroad at Weight Loss Riga Clinic, Latvia, in January 2022.
The operation was a success and she saw the weight “fall away’’ – losing a whopping 59kg in a year.
She forked out a further $11,586 flying to Lithuania to have a tummy tuck, breast lift, reduction and implants – having 9.5kg of skin removed.
Ms Chadwick now weighs 60kg and is a size 6 and loves saving money on clothes by shopping in the teen section of retail stores.
The full-time carer said everyone noticed how happy she was after the surgery – with her father-in-law saying it was though her “demons had been lifted”.
“I actually shop in the kids’ section now, it’s crazy,” she told South West News Service.
“I always find a kids’ version of the adults clothes, so it’s a no-brainer and I can get stuff for half the price.
“Getting surgery has completely changed my life and it’s the best decision I ever made.”
Ms Chadwick said as a teenager she was “very skinny” but started gaining weight when she battled bulimia in her teens. Her weight continued to creep on while pregnant with her daughter Faith, 17, and then with son Rupert, eight.
“I was very self-conscious about eating in front of people so I’d eat in secret,” she said.
“I felt so down about how I looked all the time. If I was working from home, I would often get a full packet of doughnuts to eat with a cup of tea.”
She said she tried every diet under the sun, but nothing worked. Then, after her patient’s death her ADHD caused her to hyper focus on the idea of surgery, meaning she was unwilling to wait the five years.
Despite being “over the moon’’, the rapid weight loss left her with excess skin on her stomach and breasts, which led to the additional surgery in Lithuania in January 2023.
“I knew the saggy skin would hold me back as much as the weight did,” Ms Chadwick said.
“I booked to get the plastic surgery done and I was bit more nervous about this operation.
“Once again it all went well, the recovery was hard – but the results were amazing.”
The mum-of-two is still able to eat “whatever” she wants but now has everything in moderation with much smaller portions.
The weight loss means she now fits into an adult size six or she can fit comfortably into a child’s size 13-14.
She said: “I went shopping with my daughter and saw a jumper I really liked but it was $48.
“I checked the kids section and there was one for half the price.
“I’ve got a whole new lease on life and confidence.’’
Since August 2023, Ms Chadwick has been a full-time carer to husband Guy Chadwick, 36, after he was diagnosed with Functional neurological disorder (FND).
“Bless my husband, he’d been with me through it all and put up with me through my worst and now my best,” she said.
“Getting a gastric bypass is not a decision I made lightly – it was my last resort.
“I would advise anyone looking to do it to do your research and read reviews on every surgeon at the clinic.
“It’s a huge lifestyle change and you have to know what you’re getting into.
“It’s worth it just for the money I’ve saved on clothes!’’