Losing weight is difficult for anyone, but the challenge can feel even more daunting when food is also your occupation. Battling metabolic syndrome (obesity) for most of her life, professional chef Donna Huskey of Ocean County, NJ, had made countless attempts to lose weight over the years.
”Weight Watchers, Keto, Atkins—I tried them all–but never really made a dent in my weight.” She says growing up in an Italian family also wasn’t conducive to losing weight.
“Our culture is all about sharing delicious food, and a lot of it.”
A year ago, Donna Huskey’s primary care physician office, Dr. James Covalesky of Leading Medical Care in Morganville, brought up the idea of bariatric surgery to help overcome Donna’s dangerously high cholesterol. She was also managing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and hypothyroidism.
“I wasn’t getting any younger and my weight was causing some pretty scary health issues,” Donna, age 58, recalls. She was taking four prescription medications daily and getting injections twice monthly to help lower her cholesterol.
Dr. Kovalesky’s practice recommended she contact Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri at Sterling Surgicare to discuss the possibility of bariatric surgery.
Moving forward with a weight loss game plan
“After a consultation with Dr. Adeyeri, I trusted him,” Donna recalls. “He spent a long time talking with me about my lifestyle, my health and my weight loss goals. After that meeting, I knew I wanted to move forward, no matter what.”
Ironically, she was called back to her job after a temporary furlough during the height of Covid-19, about the same time she decided to move forward with surgical weight loss. But the decision had been made.
In February 2021, weighing 263 pounds, Donna had gastric bypass at the Old Bridge Medical Center (formerly Raritan Bay Medical Center).
By November 2021 (nine months after surgery), working full-time in a restaurant and managing a household, Donna had nonetheless lost an impressive 94 pounds.
Dr. Adeyeri assesses Donna’s weight loss success
“I was impressed that Donna realized the seriousness of her weight-related medical conditions,” Dr. Adeyeri notes.
“Other overweight people believe the medications they are taking will prevent a heart attack, stroke, cancer—but obesity is the most serious chronic disease of all.”
Dr. Adeyeri said the professional chef is a role model for anyone who thinks they can’t win the war against excess weight.
“Donna was fully invested in losing the weight and defeated every obstacle with grace and fortitude.”
Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri
Since weight loss surgery, the busy wife and mother’s days are long and hectic, but now she prioritizes her health and weight loss no matter what the day brings.
Working with food after weight loss surgery
Commuting from Ocean County, she arrives at work at 5:30 am and starts her day with a protein shake. Then comes the hard part—being surrounded by the sights and smells of food—
All. Day. Long.
In addition, part of her responsibility as a chef is to taste the food.
Again and again and again.
“It’s not easy, but I have adapted to make it work,” the Johnson & Wales University graduate explains.
“Sometimes I need to do the tasting and occasionally I’ll defer to a trusted colleague’s palate.” Other times, she’ll taste and discreetly dispose of the sample without eating it.
Clearly, it’s a strategy that has yielded successful results.
At home, mealtime has changed as well. Donna says the primary focus is portion control, an admittedly difficult challenge in an Italian household. “I make individual protein portions served with unlimited salad and vegetables and sometimes a light carb.”
Using steps and resistance training to boost calorie burning
Donna’s impressive weight loss was also achieved by her commitment to exercise. On a typical workday, she routinely logs from 10,000 to 15,000 steps. At home, she’s seen great results using her Total Gym, which offers the resistance training she needs to keep her metabolism humming to burn the optimal number of calories.
At 5’6”, Donna is already close to achieving a normal BMI of 25, compared to before surgery, when her BMI was over 42.
“I’m aiming to lose another 20-30 pounds before I am completely satisfied,” she notes. “While I’m working hard to strengthen my core (stomach), I still have extra weight there that has to go.”
Weight-related medical conditions resolved
Today, Donna’s health has done a 360-degree turnaround:
· No longer diabetic
· Normal Cholesterol
· Normal blood pressure.
· She takes only one pill daily to regulate her thyroid.
“When the doctor told me I had a normal cholesterol result for the first time in my life, I nearly cried.”
Donna didn’t know other people who had weight loss surgery, but she forged her success based upon a simple mantra—
“Do what Dr. Adeyeri, the nutritionist and his team tell you to do, and you will achieve success.” Donna says bariatric weight loss is like life itself—
“You get out of it what you put in, so do the work and enjoy the rewards.”
Will 2021 be the year you conquer your weight battle?
If you have more than 75 pounds to lose, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve weight loss surgery could be the solution to set you free from the weight of the weight.
Call our friendly team of weight loss surgery specialists at (732) 217-3897 and schedule your appointment–within the next 10 days!
You will speak privately with our medical director, Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, and find out if you qualify for a bariatric weight loss solution.
We look forward to profiling YOUR success story soon!