George Christensen undergoes surgery
MEMBER for Dawson George Christensen has undergone weight loss surgery.
For the past 10 days he has been recuperating from the surgery, which he described as something he didn't want but rather something he needed.
"In the last year in particular it (his weight) was coming a burden, in terms of its impact on my job and my role as the local Member," he said.
"Being out of breath, high blood pressure, stressed out, being tired constantly... it wasn't something that I was liking."
Last year he looked into having surgery but put it aside after thinking it was too radical.
Instead he tried losing weight the conventional way by dieting.
"But because of the lifestyle that I led, because of the job, it's very difficult to do that. The ability to have prepared meals that you are going to sit down to is fleeting because a lot of the times you are on the road," he said.
"There are only so many truck stop dynamite meals you can eat before it becomes a problem."
Mr Christensen took to Facebook on Tuesday night to explain his decision.
"I decided for my own health and to better serve my electorate (and not cause a by-election) to undergo a sleeve gastrectomy," he wrote.
Prior to the surgery, Mr Christensen weighed 175.9 kilograms and last night he said he had lost around six to 10 kilograms since leaving hospital.
"Some 85% of my stomach was removed and now I can only eat small portions not exceeding about five semi-heaped tablespoons of food at any given time."
He said his healthy Body Mass Index weight should be around 80 kilograms.
"It (the surgery) is radical but good health is worth it and I have not been the picture of good health in a long time."
He encouraged those who are putting on weight, particularly young people, to do something early, rather than waiting to the "point I did where it was near past no return".
Mr Christensen said most patients who get similar surgery lose up to 60% of their excess weight in a year and up to 70% of it in two years.
"I'm determined to make the best of the new internal system by eating right and, once the stomach has fully healed, exercising regularly," he wrote.