From the outside looking in, Sabrina Longley seemed to have it all. By 2018, the Penn State graduate was happily married to her high school sweetheart, a pilot in the United States Marine Corps, and she was enjoying a successful career in restaurant marketing and event planning. However, behind closed doors, Sabrina was fighting a difficult battle with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder with some troubling side effects. As a result, she was gaining weight and battling depression. Sabrina worried that the extra weight was affecting her ability to get pregnant. At this point, Sabrina weighed 208 pounds—and was ready to make a real change.
“During that time, I was really struggling emotionally,” Sabrina explained. “This had gone on for about three years when I heard that a couple of friends from high school had success with bariatric surgery. I was intrigued by their social media posts, and I realized that I was ready to make a change, so I thought maybe I should explore that avenue, too. I started to do a ton of research about weight loss procedures.”
It didn’t take long for Sabrina’s extensive online research to lead her to True You Weight Loss. Almost immediately, she was committed to having an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) procedure. The idea of a non-surgical weight loss solution was very appealing to Sabrina, and she had a great experience from the moment she connected with the True You team.
On April 16, 2021, Sabrina travelled from her home in Jacksonville, North Carolina, to Cary, North Carolina, for her ESG, and she never looked back. Starting with day one of her recovery, Sabrina was ready to dive in and dedicate herself to her weight loss journey.
“I knew that this was not going to be a magical solution or a quick fix, and that I would have to put in some serious work,” she said. “Having that mindset from the beginning really helped.”
A self-described planner and rule follower, Sabrina strictly adhered to her diet, laid out by the True You nutrition team. For her, the weight loss wasn’t difficult because she understood the plan and the steps needed to follow to be successful—her True You team offered very clear education and preparation. And Sabrina never took this guidance for granted. Until she lost her first 40 pounds, Sabrina logged everything she ate in a food journal app, seven days per week. From thereon, she has continued to log her food five days per week—giving herself a few days off each week from logging while still making healthy choices.
Dedicating herself to finding new products and recipes, Sabrina was able to fight cravings without breaking the rules. She fell in love with sugar-free popsicles and over time, acquired a taste for protein shakes that she still enjoys today. As her excess weight began to fall off, Sabrina became even more motivated and committed to her success. The weight continued to come off, and she soon found herself celebrating her 50-pound weight loss milestone. Nearly 10 months later, Sabrina continues to lose at least one pound per month, and is 63 pounds lighter than she was when she started less than a year ago.
Physical fitness has been another important piece of Sabrina’s ESG journey. In high school and college, Sabrina was always very active—running half marathons and being a part of both the high school track and dance teams. She and her husband had also once found a common bond in working out and being adventurous together. However, as she gained weight, Sabrina lost her ability to feel excited about fitness and adventure. She spent years shying away from anything that involved physical exertion.
“I got to the point where I wouldn’t even go on a bike ride with my husband because I was uncomfortable with how I looked and felt. I worried I would get too out of breath,” she explained. “Looking back, I didn’t realize how much I had stopped doing until after I lost the weight and started getting back out there.”
Sabrina is certainly back out there. Immediately after her procedure, Sabrina started walking for exercise and increased her intensity from there. She credits the Couch to 5K® Running App with helping her get back to her physical fitness goals one step at a time. Sabrina now exercises six days a week for 30 to 60 minutes, with activities including running, biking, and using her Peloton® machine. Every Saturday, she runs eight to 10 miles. Recently, she even completed a half-marathon and ran the entire way, something she had never done before.
“Now, I am up for anything! If my husband wants to go for a motorcycle ride, I will hop on the back. If he wants to go to the shooting range, I will absolutely join him,” she said. “My life has totally changed, and my marriage is now stronger than ever. It’s wonderful that my husband and I can be adventurous together again. We recently went indoor skydiving, and I was thrilled that I no longer had to worry about the weight limit.”
Sabrina’s new life also includes a reintroduction to fashion. She is now able to wear things that she once thought were off-limits but had always wanted to own, such as Lilly Pulitzer® dresses and Lululemon leggings.
“It’s amazing to get dressed now and to shop in boutiques knowing they will have my size,” she said. “I feel great in everything I put on!”
Even though she has lost 60 pounds, Sabrina is currently working toward a weight of 145 pounds, which will give her some room to fluctuate. To reach this goal, Sabrina continues to work closely with her True You dietitian, Laura Sebring, MS, RD, LDN, and is grateful for the unlimited follow-up plan. Laura will meet with Sabrina as often as she requests, and she continues to give Sabrina helpful advice and guidance.
“This procedure has totally transformed my life, and I am so glad to have the continued support from my True You team,” Sabrina said. “With ESG, if you are completely committed to the process, you can be wildly successful.”