Former world champion fitness model Zoey Wright wore a stoma for four years before deciding to have a J-pouch op – and is delighted she went ahead .
My J-pouch is now 15 months old, and with each month that passes it’s becoming stronger and stronger and so is my confidence in my decision to have the two-stage surgery.
I can now go six or more hours without even thinking about the loo and most nights I sleep right though until the morning, which is something I never thought would be possible. As a personal trainer/fitness Instructor I did worry that it would put stress on how I perform in my job, but it’s been no different to when I had my stoma.
I started taking my instructor-led fitness classes around eight weeks post- takedown — under the guidance of my surgeon Mr Denzil May from the Royal Cornwall Hospital where I had my op.
I eased myself back into taking exercise and made sure I focused on engaging my core muscles to prevent any post-surgical complications/injuries and it didn’t take me too long to bounce back into action!
Since my takedown I’ve also managed two holidays, one being only 14 weeks post-closure to Tenerife with a friend which was rather boozy! And my J-pouch survived! Then at the start of this year I had a mini break to Budapest and had no worries then either.
However, before having my large intestine removed travelling was out of the question, the thought of flying would make me incredibly anxious and I would have found eating anywhere very tricky. Now I can enjoy all the foods and drinks I like without a second thought.
Before I had my J-pouch created I was a fitness modelling competitor and, after three long hard years of intense training and dieting with my stoma, I was awarded the highest title recognised by Pure Elite, the fastest-growing fitness federation in Europe!
But I’ve now decided to take a step back from those appearances on the stage with a new mission in mind. I aim to continue to train at a high level but wish to encourage and inspire people from all walks of life to start their journey in health and fitness.
I must say that as a regular gym-goer I have found the lockdown tough. There have been many ups and down with my mental health but I’ve found it a great time to reflect on what I want to do next in my career and to see family and friends who don’t normally exercise now actually MOVING has given me some great ideas to help them continue to exercise once life returns to normal.I’m feeling very grateful for my J-pouch and couldn’t be happier with the progress I’ve made.
This article first appeared in ISSUE 59: Summer 2020 edition of ROAR! if you would like to read other articles like this, why not become a member of the Red Lion Pouch Support group? You will receive a printed copy of ROAR! twice a year and have online access to archive ROAR! editions going back to 1994.Join Now