The ironic thing about Anthony Boggs’ weight gain is that he didn’t even realize it was happening until the scale had reached what he calls “a scary place.” Unlike many, Anthony explains that he felt confident about himself and was mostly unaware of his weight gain for many years—he calls it his own “reverse body dysmorphia.”
“Since I was around 14 or 15 years old, I would put on weight, and then plateau, and that would happen over and over again,” Anthony says. “It was just something I kind of accepted … until about two years ago. That’s when I started to notice myself in photos and realized I may not look as good as my mind was telling me I looked.”
Anthony, 40, is a North Carolina native who lives in Kernersville, North Carolina, with his fiancée and chihuahua. As a healthcare IT professional, he travels often and keeps a busy schedule.
“My weight gain really crept up on me,” Anthony explains. “It wasn’t that I ate a lot, and I wasn’t sitting on my couch stuffing my face with chips and cookies all the time. Rather, I had poor eating habits—I would do things like eat large meals late at night. Plus, due to my travel schedule, I wasn’t taking the time to exercise with any regularity. I also felt so comfortable in my relationship with my fiancée that nothing was really motivating me to change my habits.”
On and off over the years, Anthony experimented with various diets and exercise routines, but nothing ever stuck. He tried the keto diet, the Atkins Diet™, WeightWatchers®, Beachbody workouts, CrossFit®, P90X®, and the Hip Hop Abs™ program—and even restricted himself to only lettuce and grilled chicken for a time. While some methods would work as long as he followed them carefully, as soon as he loosened up, the weight would come back—plus some more.
Fast-forward to 2021, when Anthony took a closer look at himself in some photos. He didn’t like what he saw, and it inspired him to make a change—even if it required him to take drastic measures. His weight had reached a number that he never wanted to see again (269 pounds), and it was starting to really affect his overall health. Anthony was struggling with a high A1C and diabetes diagnosis, high blood pressure, high heart rate, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other sleep problems.
When Anthony started to seriously research his weight loss options, he decided that the non-invasive endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) would be the best choice for him. He had looked into the procedure a few years before but was now ready to explore it further. Anthony knew that a more complex and invasive procedure, such as gastric sleeve surgery, would be too extreme for his comfort level.
“I needed an option that offered a quick recovery, mostly because of my demanding work travel schedule,” Anthony says. “My career could never endure a six-to-eight-week recovery period, as the gastric sleeve often requires.”
Online research led Anthony to True You Weight Loss, and he was immediately impressed with what he saw. He was also surprised to find they were located right in North Carolina.
“There are not a lot of providers out there who perform ESG,” Anthony says. “I couldn’t believe that I had found one about an hour from my house who had so much experience.”
From his initial discovery of True You, things happened pretty quickly for Anthony. He booked a consultation with the practice and felt right at home talking with project coordinator Tesha, dietitian Paige, and founder and medical director Dr. Christopher McGowan.
“They were all so friendly and made me feel very comfortable,” Anthony says. “My first impression was that their team was well-organized, and I never sensed any pressure to commit. But I could feel their willingness to support me.”
Shortly thereafter, Anthony’s ESG procedure was scheduled for March 2022, only six weeks from his consultation.
On the day of his procedure, Anthony arrived at True You feeling excited but also nervous. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions at the time, Anthony’s fiancée was not able to accompany him. It left him feeling uneasy to be facing such a life-changing event on his own, but the True You team quickly put him at ease.
“I had some butterflies, but they were good butterflies,” Anthony says. “The team was very efficient, which made things a lot easier. Everything went very smoothly.”
On the day after his ESG, Anthony experienced minimal stomach cramping, but otherwise, he was glad to not experience any pain or nausea. He was back to work three days later and felt really good. He managed the diet progression from liquids to solids—which he says was the most challenging part of the process for him. However, it all paid off because Anthony saw the weight drop very quickly, with a steady decline of five to ten pounds per week. Before he knew it, Anthony had lost nearly 70 pounds and was feeling better than ever.
When his weight loss stalled at 200 pounds, he worked closely with his True You Weight Loss team to stay positive and focused on achieving his goals. Due to his history of diabetes, Anthony’s primary care physician recommended medication, which Anthony said supported him in dropping the last 20 pounds. It also helped him stop constantly thinking about food and stop his cravings for junk food, sugar and carbohydrates. Today, Anthony has completely given up all sodas, and is now on a whole-food diet. Although medications do lead to some side effects, such as nausea, Anthony has learned workarounds that help.
Today, Anthony weighs just 180 pounds and feels better than he has in years. His A1C and blood pressure are now in a normal range, his heart rate is healthy, and all of his other health issues are leveling out. He is also starting to enjoy the small things in life again, such as being able to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling winded, dress up in stylish outfits, travel, attend concerts, and socialize with friends with much more ease.
“I can actually shop now, which feels weird, and dress in clothes that I never thought would be possible for me,” Anthony says. “My fiancée and I can entertain friends at our home and backyard pool, and I don’t have to worry about covering up or being uncomfortable. I can just enjoy myself and have fun. People are also starting to take notice and compliment me for how great I look, which feels really nice and gratifying.”
While he put in much of the hard work on his own, Anthony credits the True You team with much of his weight loss success.
“The entire team was always supportive, and they never pressured me to do more than I could do,” Anthony adds. “They told me they would be there for me if I needed them, but they never gave me commands or ultimatums. Their encouragement and guidance were exactly what I needed to reach my goals and achieve success. This is the longest period of time by which I have been able to lose the weight, keep it off, and stay consistent.”
In his new body, Anthony is excited about the future and taking more trips to tropical places with his fiancée, whom he has also inspired to lose weight. While he continues to manage his eating habits and adjust to his new limits (i.e. only eating four ounces of popcorn rather than the whole bag), Anthony has nothing but positive things to share about his experience.
“If anyone is considering an ESG at True You, I would say, don’t think twice about it,” Anthony says. “It will challenge you, but it will also change your life for the better. Even though stalls and plateaus may happen, this procedure will lead you to your ultimate goal. Don’t get frustrated. Give it a year, and you will be in a different place both mentally and physically. Trust in yourself and trust in the process. You will not regret it.”
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