We sat down with Hampus for a candid interview on his 110-pound weight loss with the AspireAssist. Here’s what he said.*
How long had you been overweight?
I’d always been a big kid, it runs in my family. Always on the verge of being overweight, but a good build. It worked great for hockey, soccer, all the other sports. When I quit that, when going to high school, after loads of injuries, I think I just kept eating the same – a teenager’s diet – but I didn’t practice, I didn’t lose calories or anything. So then I gained weight, and I gained 60 pounds over one summer. And I became more stressed, had an even worse lifestyle by eating bad food, because I didn’t have the patience to cook properly, didn’t exercise…gained even more weight, and suddenly I was 300 pounds. Of course I was in denial when I looked like that.
Did you ever try to lose weight?
I did try my best, from time to time…you know, different diets, low calorie diets, going to the gym, meeting with a personal trainer, going to see a doctor about what to eat and how to eat. Once, I spent 9 months on a low-calorie diet and exercising regularly, and I only lost a few pounds. I wasted almost a year doing what everyone told me to do, and it didn’t work. So what now?
What about weight loss surgery?
I’ve thought about gastric bypass over the years. I was really tired of just “trying” to lose weight, when it never worked. But the consequences of that procedure…the risks, complications, you have to take pills every day for the rest of your life…to me, that’s not really “healthy”. It might be the right option for some people, but it’s not what I wanted for my life.
What did you think when you heard about the AspireAssist?
When I first read about it, it immediately made sense to me. This method has actually existed for quite a long time, but in reverse, for people who are too sick to eat. But here we take food out. So I said, OK, the safety with the actual procedure is well established. And somehow it just made sense to take a bit of food out. You trick the brain – the brain says, oh, ok, I’ve eaten. I’m full. Then you take a bit of it out, and flush in water to replace the empty space that suddenly is there. You don’t change your anatomy, and you can live normally. This is a way of getting healthy instead of just losing weight.
Tell us about your weight loss. How long did it take to start seeing results?*
After the procedure, I lost 3 or 4 pounds a week. And then when I felt strong enough to go back to the gym, I started losing 6 pounds per week for the first few months! Of course, I was focusing on slowing down, and chewing properly – not eating junk food – so that helped a lot. So, it’s been about 8 months now, and I’ve lost just over 100 pounds. And I haven’t been this tiny since 7th grade! I took out a jacket when I was spring cleaning the closet – I found an old jacket from 7th grade, and put it on…. and it fit! It’s amazing.
Why do you think you were so successful with this?
I think the reason I’ve been able to do this, and stick with it, is because it puts the work on me. With the gastric bypass, there’s a physical limitation, you can’t eat more than just a few bites. Here, I can choose how much I want to eat, and then I’ll flush it out. It’s my choice. And since it’s only a small tube going into my stomach, in order for food to get out, I have to chew it properly. Just by chewing properly, there are so many good things that come from it. I eat smaller portions, and I feel like I’m eating more even if I’ve had less, and I really don’t crave the sugar and junk food anymore. It’s changed my state of mind, changed who I am, and allows me to be the person I want to be. And it’s all about that choice. I have a choice.
Watch Hampus discuss his experience with the AspireAssist.
What about the actual aspiration process? Is it difficult for you?
It’s really no big deal, it’s really just like going to the bathroom for your “usual business”! The hardest part is making it a priority, fitting it into my day when I’m busy. And making sure that I am chewing enough and eating slowing so the system can work. That’s the hard part. I can’t really say that I’ve had anything negative with this therapy. It’s all been good.
But, of course I’ve had my challenges this year. Over the summer I had a few busy weeks when I was away from home and wasn’t being as careful about food choices – too much sugar, junk food. Of course, I was still aspirating, but I figured that I had gained back like 50 pounds. I went over a month without getting on the scale because I didn’t want to see how far I had slipped. Finally, when I stepped on the scale, I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t gained a pound. Sure, I hadn’t lost weight, but I also hadn’t gained. That’s when I knew that this was going to work for me. It had changed the way my body and mind were responding to a “relapse”, and I could get back on track without going back to square one.
Are you still aspirating three times per day?
At the beginning I was aspirating three times per day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But after a while, when I started going to the gym in the morning, I decided to stop aspirating breakfast because I needed those calories to fuel my workout. Then a couple months ago, I stopped flushing lunch because my job got pretty busy in the summer, so it was only dinner at night when I came home. And I was still losing weight! And now recently I stopped flushing dinner – well, maybe a couple times a week maybe if there’s been a gathering with family or friends and there’s been a little too much socializing. So, I’m just a couple pounds from my goal, and when I get there, I’m stopping completely. I’m going to try to live like a “regular” person and control my meals and do this on my own. Eventually, I’d like to get it removed when I’m confident I can maintain the weight loss.
Your weight loss is such an accomplishment. What’s the best part for you?
The best part is that I feel alive. I have energy to do whatever I want. Because when you’re overweight, it’s like going around with a backpack full of rocks all day, I didn’t have the energy to enjoy my life. Now I’m healthy and I actually want to have a life, I want to take the world on. In Sweden we have this saying that life starts at 27. And, I’m 27 now, and well, I’m going to go abroad, start travelling, now that I’m finally healthy. I can’t find a better name for it than “being alive”!
**Update: Hampus reached his goal weight on Nov 4th, 2015 of 198 pounds (90kgs), for a total weight loss of 110 pounds **
Take control of your weight with the AspireAssist, the minimally-invasive and reversible weight loss procedure.