“I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight in the past year, but that’s just a number. It’s easy to quantify weight loss by inches and pounds, but it’s much more important to qualify it.”
Amanda Kahlke posted this message on her social media profile, along with the images you see here. We thought her quote was insightful and inspiring, but we wanted to learn more about how she ‘qualified’ her 110-pound weight loss since gastric sleeve surgery one year ago.
We spoke with Amanda, a 26-year-old Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for a Monmouth County Police Department, 13 months since her bariatric surgery.
What inspired you to have weight loss surgery?
AK: I’ve had self-confidence issues most of my life, which is mostly due to being overweight since I was a child. Once I was an adult, I decided things had to change.
Why did you choose Dr. Seun Sowemimo and his bariatric program?
AK: My mother brought up the subject and we discussed it with my doctor, Dr. Regina Rossi. She heard positive things from other patients who had gone to Dr. Seun and recommended a consultation. My initial office visit with him was one week before my 25th birthday and my operation was on October 5, 2016.
How was the operation portion of your weight loss journey?
AK: I had no complications and my recovery was not too bad. If you just follow what Dr. Seun tells you to do, before and after surgery, you are going to get the most out of this opportunity.
To what do you attribute losing more than 100 pounds in 12 months?
AK: Don’t overthink the process. Dr. Seun and his staff are experts at weight loss surgery. They want you to be successful. Do what they tell you to do. Secondly, I ramped up my pre-op exercise of distance walking to a combination of jogging and walking (mostly jogging). I do this 3-4 times a week and run stairs at work every day.
Your job sounds physically demanding. Has your weight loss affected your work?
AK: Getting rid of the extra weight makes my whole life easier, including my job. It’s so much faster and easier for me to access patients, I can run farther and faster, and not feel embarrassed by huffing and puffing to keep up with everyone. Now they are trying to keep up with me!
Has there been a specific experience since surgery when you realized how much your life was changing?
AK: There have been many, but one experience stands out — I went to a huge motocross race up in the mountains. Just to get to the track, you had to walk up all these hills. It was like a marathon getting there. I clocked 27,000 steps (72 staircase runs) that day. At my previous weight, there is no way I could have made it. No way.
Any first-hand advice to readers who are thinking about bariatric surgery?
AK: Go the monthly support group meeting Dr. Seun’s team offers. Some of the participants had surgery years ago, and offer great insight about maintaining your weight loss for the long-term. If you have questions or challenges during your journey, people have great ideas to help you keep going and stay on track.
Lastly, I can say that since I’ve lost the weight, I am truly happy for the first time in my life. I am glad I didn’t wait to do this 10 years from now. The best is yet to come for me.
Dr. Seun Sowemimo and Dr. Bennet Togbe are board-certified and fellowship-trained, general, laparoscopic and bariatric surgeons in NJ. They specialize in minimally invasive weight loss surgery and general surgery procedures including diverticulitis, gallbladder and hernia conditions. They are the top NJ surgeons at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties.
To learn more, visit our YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.