A Father’s Love: Bariatric Surgery for the Sake of My Precious Daughters

In a world filled with inspiring tales of personal triumph, mine is a journey that speaks volumes about the power of a dad’s love. As a devoted father to two wonderful girls, aged 2 and 9 years, my decision to undergo bariatric surgery was motivated by a deep, unwavering love for my daughters. From a life-threatening 175kg to a pudgy 123kg, this is my story as a dad who took a life-altering step, all for the sake of his beloved girls.

My journey began with a realization that transcended my own physical struggles. Climbing stairs left me breathless, and playing with my girls was more of a distant dream than a reality. We don’t go for any activities that involve stamina or a lot of walking. Neither do we go on far away holidays as I could no longer fit into the plane seat. The toll my weight was taking on my health was alarming, but what shook me to the core was when I had a strong sharp pain in my chest. After a rush to the A&E, it however ended up as an anxiety attack and not a heart attack. Despite this, the scare made me think of the possibility of my girls growing up without me. It was a turning point fuelled by the profound love I held for them.

Zahrin with his children in 2021

The decision to undergo bariatric surgery was not taken lightly. I took time to understand the risks and challenges that lay ahead, but I also understood that it was the most meaningful step I could take as a father. I actually had the opportunity to go for the surgery several years earlier but was procrastinating and never thought of those dark possibilities. But after that scare, it dawned on me that my girls deserved a dad who could be an active part of their lives, their adventures, and their dreams.

The surgery was not just about shedding kilos; it was about reshaping our family’s future. The emotional journey was intense, marked by moments of vulnerability and determination. Every kilo I lost was a testament to the love that fueled my desire to be the best dad I could be. My kids were there from day one. Ironically, at this stage, my total weight loss of 52kg is more than my girls’ weight combined. I can literally piggyback the 9 year old while carrying my 2 year old and play with them.

As the weight began to melt away, my daughters witnessed a transformation that went beyond the physical. They saw their dad regain his vitality, his spirit, and most importantly, his active presence in their lives. The sparkle in their eyes, their laughter, and the hugs that grew tighter with every passing day were the most heart-warming rewards of this journey. In short, I am now more present and participative in their lives as compared to just a bystander watching their daily activities.

Today, at 123kg, I am living a life that allows me to fully embrace my role as a loving dad. I chase after my 2-year-old with boundless energy, and I join my 9-year-old in her adventures, all with a heart brimming with love. We’ve created cherished moments that are etched in the fabric of our family’s story. This Fathering Month, will be the first month that I am blessed with this much energy. I will be joining the many activities by Bapa Sepanjang Hayat with my daughters to create memories that will bond us closer.

Zahrin with his children in 2023

My journey from 175kg to 123kg is a testament to the lengths a loving father is willing to go to ensure the happiness and well-being of his children. To all the parents out there, I want to convey that the love for our children can fuel extraordinary transformations. It can inspire us to overcome obstacles we never thought possible.

As I reflect on my journey, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to be a healthier, more present, and loving father. My daughters are my guiding stars, and my hope is that my story will inspire other parents to act out of love and sacrifice for the sake of their children. It’s a journey worth embarking on, a journey of love that can redefine the future for both parent and child.


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