Taking care of others is how Brandi Turner, a Cincinnati native, has always defined her life. She stays busy balancing her career as an outpatient oncology nurse with being a wife and a mother to four active children. When she’s not caring for her patients, she’s managing responsibilities at home and transporting her kids to activities like cheer, dance, baseball, and softball.
Even though she has always been a workout and exercise fanatic, Brandi had been on a rollercoaster with her weight for years—since before her second child was born. Like many moms who are focused on caring for others, over time Brandi had little energy left to focus on herself. As a result, her weight, health, and confidence began to suffer. And unfortunately, none of the strategies she tried on her own were effective for very long. She tried regular intense exercise, CrossFit®, and membership-based diet plans with minimal success. Brandi was discouraged that she never saw an impactful change when she stepped on the scale.
By the start of 2020, Brandi was at her all-time highest weight: 246 pounds. Even after losing about 30 pounds during the lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, she gained it all back once restaurants and activities re-opened. By this time, Brandi was suffering from chronic high blood pressure, a condition that was not typical for someone of Brandi’s young age (31 years when diagnosed). That, combined with a family history of hypertension, heart surgery, and diabetes, forced Brandi to realize it was time to make some real changes for her health.
“I was frustrated with my pattern of recycling 30 pounds every year or so, gaining and losing and then gaining again. I was ready to get it together,” reflected Brandi. “Then a coworker told me she saw on the news that a local clinic was offering non-surgical weight loss procedures. After doing some internet research about it, I felt confident that the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) procedure was the solution I’d been looking for.”
Brandi reached out to her local clinic that offered ESG, but they were somewhat unresponsive to Brandi’s inquiries, so she expanded her search to social media. That’s when she discovered True You Weight Loss and Dr. Christopher McGowan. People were raving about Dr. McGowan in online communities and reviews, and Brandi wanted to learn more. When she reached out to True You, she heard back almost immediately.
“Tesha is amazing and called me back the same day,” said Brandi. “I scheduled my consultation and things moved quickly from there. From the moment I spoke with Dr. McGowan, I was completely comfortable with the procedure and the process. First impressions are everything for me, and I knew I was in the best hands.”
The day of her procedure, Brandi was excited and felt fully prepared for the steps involved in the ESG process, thanks to Dr. McGowan and his team. On September 18, 2020, Brandi had her ESG procedure with a starting weight of 233 pounds. Just over a year later, Brandi had lost over 64 pounds, and went from a size 20 to a size 8/10.
Today, Brandi has returned full-force to her lifestyle and Peloton workout routine. She uses the platform 60 to 90 minutes daily, five to six days per week, with Boot Camp being her favorite. She is typically up and exercising by 4:20 in the morning (6am on weekends, if necessary) so she can ensure she will have that time for herself to “get it done” before work and family responsibilities set in for the day. Her commitment is inspiring.
“I want people to know that it’s okay to admit that you need help with your weight loss goals,” stressed Brandi. “ESG or any weight loss procedure is not an easy way out. I am working incredibly hard. You just have to follow the plan and do the work, and you too can find success. With exercise, you can start slowly and work up to a level that is best for you.”
Brandi has also found a source of strength and support in an online community of fellow True You patients and others who have experienced ESG. Brandi explains, “I love this community and that the word is spreading about ESG. It’s so nice to communicate with and encourage others about this life-changing procedure and journey.”
Today, Brandi feels like a totally different person. Her high blood pressure is gone, and she has discontinued all medication for the condition. She moves more easily and feels no pain when working out or running after her kids. The exhaustion she once felt walking up a flight of stairs is a distant memory.
“Feeling great and looking good is so rewarding,” said Brandi. “I feel strong, and I’m confident when I get dressed now. I’ve been successful beyond my wildest dreams and have really shocked myself with what I have been able to achieve over this past year. Now, I truly feel like I am the best version of myself. My body can do things today that I never thought were possible.”
Brandi’s family is proud of her success, too. Her journey is demonstrating to her children the value of healthy choices and hard work. Her weight loss has even had an impact on her husband, who has lost 50 pounds while supporting her every step of the way. With her newfound body and attitude, Brandi plans to continue with her active lifestyle and just enjoy each and every day.
When asked about her secrets to success with ESG, Brandi is always happy to share. In addition to following closely the plan set forth by True You, she says it is helpful to embrace the mindset that no foods are off-limits and that this is not “a diet.” However, nutrition guidelines are key and learning portion control is critical. Additionally, Brandi stresses the importance of regular exercise, setting attainable goals, maintaining a positive and grateful attitude, choosing a committed accountability partner, and understanding that every day is a new day.
“Take it one day at a time, and if one day doesn’t go so well, just try again tomorrow,” said Brandi. “In the words of my favorite Peloton instructor, ‘You don’t have to do this, you GET to do this.’ If you have the means and support to go on this journey, embrace it and remember it is up to YOU. Commit to doing the work, and you will achieve the goals you set for yourself.”
Brandi also credits her success in part to the ongoing support she gets from her True You family. “I absolutely love Dr. McGowan and the True You team, and Laura’s nutrition support has been invaluable. From my initial contact with Tesha to my consult with Dr. McGowan, I knew this choice was going to be right for me,” explained Brandi. “For anyone considering ESG, know that this team will literally guide you through the process and give you everything you need to succeed. Now, I’m excited about this opportunity to share my story, uplift and encourage others, and spread the word about ESG and True You.”