As featured in CentraState Hospital’s Healthy Directions summer magazine, two sisters-in-law are forever connected by the decisions they both made to undergo gastric sleeve weight loss surgery. Close in age and personality, Alana and Julie Sims are smart, attractive and accomplished. The only thing holding them back was their weight.
When one of them decided to undergo bariatric weight loss surgery four years ago, her success soon inspired the other to make the same decision.
Now, four years later, Alana and Julie have lost nearly 300 pounds between them. Equally important—through constant encouragement and support for each other—they’ve successfully kept the weight off years after their operations.
Alana Tells Her Bariatric Weight Loss Story
“I was overweight my entire childhood and well into adulthood until I had weight loss surgery when I was 30-years-old. Thinking back, I missed out on many opportunities and pleasures I could have experienced had I not been overweight.”
Alana researched the different bariatric surgery options and, in partnership with Dr. Sowemimo (“Dr. Seun”) decided the sleeve gastrectomy suited her lifestyle. “I didn’t want the lifelong adjustments needed with the band and the bypass seemed too invasive,” Alana explains. “The sleeve was the most practical choice for me.”
Alana Discusses How Her Quality of Life Has Improved After Dropping All the Extra Weight
- I can fully participate in life like everyone else. I do not have to worry about fitting into the seat on the airplane and I can go to Great Adventure and ride the rides and have fun with my kids.
- I no longer walk into a room and feel that I have to hide because I think people are staring at me because of my size.
- I am now able to shop for clothes for style–not just because they fit my body.
Today, Alana, a working wife and mother of three children, enjoys a more active life full of energy she had never experienced previously.
“I just wanted my family to be proud of me and what I was able to do,” Alana says. “If you are really overweight, don’t let another year pass without doing something about it. Weight loss surgery was the tool I needed to change my life for the better. I’m happy I could inspire and motivate my sister-in-law to achieve the same goal.”
Alana’s First-Hand Experience Compels Julie to Undergo the Gastric Sleeve
After her weight loss surgery operation, Alana’s weight came off quickly and her sister-in law, Julie, noticed. Three years after Alana’s gastric sleeve surgery, Julie decided she was ready.
“I had considered weight loss surgery for years but I was always determined to lose the weight on my own. I tried all the diets, exercises, fads—you name it. I finally realized that doing it ‘my way’ wasn’t working. Drawing inspiration from Alana’s incredible success, and with her support and encouragement, I attended Dr. Seun’s Free Patient Seminar.”
Julie, an elementary school teacher, said the seminar really opened her eyes to the health hazards of carrying around too much weight.
“It was an absolute certainty that my health was going to deteriorate– and soon–if I did not make this decision to take control of my life and my health by having gastric sleeve surgery,” Julie said. “I decided that very night at the seminar that I was going to have Dr. Seun perform my surgery as soon as possible.”
Julie Shares Her Weight Loss Surgery Experience
On June 2014, at age 34 and weighing over 250 pounds, Julie also had the sleeve gastrectomy performed by Dr. Seun. She was anxious about the procedure but experienced very little post-op discomfort. (Dr. Seun also removed her gallbladder in the summer of 2015 with no complications).
Today, Julie maintains a consistent weight between 140-145 pounds and her clothing size ranges between sizes 2 – 4 (which she can’t say without laughing in disbelief). She weighs herself once a week to ensure she stays on track.
Now, a year and a half after her surgical weight loss solution, Julie discusses how losing over 125 pounds has changed her life:
- I’m happier, healthier and in the best shape of my life.
- My self-esteem has improved and I’ve become more active and social. I no longer feel self-conscious, ashamed or embarrassed about my appearance.
- I am no longer controlled by food.
- For the first time in my life, my New Year’s resolution wasn’t to lose weight! I know that may seem like a small thing, but it feels incredible.
Dr. Sowemimo Describes How Bariatric Surgery Forces the Hand of Obesity
“I frequently see when obesity takes hold, it affects almost every aspect of a person’s being– even when they are struggling against their own body to lose weight,” Dr. Sowemimo explains.
“Unfortunately, this is often a losing battle. But armed with the tool of weight loss surgery, the body is forced to let go of the excess weight, so to speak, in alignment with the person’s efforts.”
Dr. Seun says this ultimately allows people to regain their lives, unlock their hidden potential and blossom in life—as exhibited by Julie and Alana.
“Bariatric surgery is a powerful weapon against obesity that says, “Hey Obesity, Let my people go!”
The Importance of a Warm and Nurturing Bariatric Program Team
Both Alana and Julie credit Dr. Seun, his staff and his entire team for the incredible care they received before, during and after their respective procedures.
Alana recalls, “From my first visit to Dr. Seun’s office, he and his staff made me feel like a human being. I didn’t feel I was being judged for letting my body and health get out of control. I looked forward to my appointments because I knew Dr. Seun genuinely cared and took the time to answer my questions (no matter how silly they sounded) without rushing me.”
Julie agrees with Alana and adds that having a role model, partner, and best friend through this process was life-changing for her.
“Alana never doubted for a moment that I could do this, and her absolute trust in Dr. Seun’s professionalism and expertise is what finally made me take that first step. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I can’t recommend Dr. Seun and his staff enough. Dr. Seun has become more than a surgeon to us—we consider him to be a friend and a part of our family.”
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
Dr. Seun is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. He is board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained in advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgery.
To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.