As Rosie Axtman settled into her 40s, her health was taking a turn in the wrong direction. Deeply affected by a period of extensive weight gain like nothing she’d experienced before, the typically vibrant Rosie began to feel hopeless and depressed.
Originally from Brazil, Rosie was a busy hair stylist who moved to the United States 23 years ago after meeting her husband. The couple found a home in Georgia that they loved and created a wonderful life together. However, Rosie’s life in America was far more sedentary than it was in Brazil, mostly because she came from Rio where walking everywhere was the norm.
Over time, the weight piled on, and Rosie grew more and more disheartened and physically exhausted. At her heaviest, she weighed 245 pounds—which made it difficult to stand up for more than 15 minutes without feeling pain. This affected her career as a hairdresser and her ability to do the things she wanted and to enjoy life. Yo-yo dieting soon became a vicious cycle that she could not escape on her own. She tried many different weight loss strategies, but nothing gave her the results she needed to get back to the energetic and enthusiastic person she had always been.
“I literally had tried everything,” Rosie remembers. “From weight loss pills such as phentermine, to weight loss programs like NutriSystem® and gym memberships, but I just couldn’t lose the weight. Sure, five or 10 pounds would come off, but nothing substantial or permanent that could help me get my life back on track.”
Rosie’s weight gain also led to numerous health issues that affected her daily life—including sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, constant headaches along with joint pain so severe, she was advised by doctors to undergo knee replacement surgery. She was even receiving consistent cortisone shots in her knees, just to keep going. Combined with the lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea, Rosie’s physical and emotional exhaustion were becoming more than she could bear. One day, Rosie, then 47, was sitting on her couch feeling incredibly hopeless, and desperately wanting her life back. She was praying for a solution when she felt compelled to consider a weight loss procedure.
“I knew I didn’t want to endure surgery but wondered if there was something else out there for me,” Rosie says. “I am the mother of three college-aged children, and I would never want to take any risks that would prevent me from being here for them. But when I started looking online, I came across ESG. That was when my life began to change.”
ESG, or endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, was appealing to Rosie because it is a non-invasive procedure that delivers results comparable to surgery—without the surgery. When Rosie later stumbled across the True You Weight Loss website, she was even more intrigued. When she watched Dr. Christopher McGowan, True You founder and the nation’s leader in ESG procedures, perform a live ESG while answering questions, Rosie immediately felt a connection and sent him an e-mail with a list of her own questions.
“I thought his assistant might respond or that I may not hear back at all. However, I was floored when I promptly received a response directly from Dr. McGowan himself with all the answers I needed,” Rosie says. “He was so honest and truthful, and got straight to the point. There was no merry-go-round, just full transparency. I quickly realized that this was likely the solution for me.”
Rosie made an appointment with True You for the following week, and just two weeks later, she was traveling to Cary, North Carolina, for her ESG procedure. On the day of her ESG, weighing 233 pounds, Rosie remembers feeling quite nervous, mostly due to her fear of anesthesia. But as the staff greeted her and embraced her presence, Rosie’s fears quickly faded.
“When they welcomed me, I sincerely felt that they cared about me as a person, not just another patient,” Rosie reflects. “The entire True You staff gave me a sense of comfort as soon as I walked in. I could tell that they truly wanted to help me reclaim my life and health.”
In the days after ESG, Rosie felt tired but experienced no pain, just some minor gas discomfort on the first day of recovery. Rosie says, “The procedure worked perfectly for me. I really had no issues at all.”
Within the first few weeks after her ESG, Rosie quickly dropped 20 pounds. Her joint pain almost immediately resolved, and she was eager to start exercising. As soon as Dr. McGowan gave her the green light to “crank it up,” Rosie did so and has never looked back.
“Crank it up is my mantra,” Rosie laughs. “I now love exercise and have gone from power walking, to weight lifting, to running—it’s amazing. I never thought I could reach this point.”
Going into her ESG, Rosie predicted, at best, she might lose about 40 pounds, start walking again and reclaim her ability to work part-time. However, not quite a year after her procedure, she was down to 149 pounds, a loss of about 80 pounds, which was twice her original goal.
“I had become so beaten down from all of my failed weight loss attempts that I did not believe in myself anymore,” Rosie says. “However, True You changed that, and today I have my life back. I am thriving! This team absolutely saves lives, and they certainly saved mine.”
In her spare time after ESG, Rosie also joined a Facebook group of about 3,000 ESG patients and became very active in supporting others and cheering them on. She started to find her old self again, using her positivity and enthusiasm to issue fun challenges to the group and inspire them to keep working toward success. Helping others find inspiration and achieve their goals has become just as important to Rosie as her own weight loss journey.
“There is no comparison to True You, Dr. McGowan and the work they do to transform lives,” Rosie adds. “Within my Facebook group, many members are True You patients, and they all feel the same. We’ve all had amazing experiences with this medical facility. The team goes above and beyond to ensure patients feel heard, seen, important and elevated.”
Since her weight loss, Rosie has attained vast improvements with her health and habits. Her knees are back to 100 percent, as she goes running, wears high heels and never sits down during her workday, without any issues at all. She has shocked her primary care doctor in that all of her numbers—blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.—are back to normal levels, and she is finally able to enjoy a good night’s sleep because her sleep apnea is resolved. Additionally, Rosie’s depressive binge-eating habits have shifted into a newfound ability to effectively use portion control and eat in moderation. She never deprives herself nor does she feel the desire to eat beyond her small portions.
“Now, I can enjoy two spoonfuls of ice cream or a bite of pie, and I’m fine—I don’t need any more,” Rosie explains. “I have called this experience my Great Reset, and my heart is totally full. Because of this procedure, I have a life again, and I am so thankful.”
Down to a size 4/6, Rosie has also reclaimed her favorite role as a fashionista, enjoying her shopping trips again and buying and wearing the stylish clothes she loves to wear.
“It feels amazing to get dressed now that I don’t have to shop at the plus-sized stores anymore,” Rosie says. “Nothing makes you feel better as a woman, or more powerful, than dressing the way you want to dress and feeling great when you walk out that door.”
In the future, Rosie is looking forward to using her newfound energy and athleticism for adventure. In a few months, she will travel out west to go skiing with her family for the first time ever. Additionally, Rosie and some weight-loss community friends will soon start training for their first Ironman Triathlon, to be held in June 2023. She will also continue to spread the word about ESG via social media to others who might be struggling with weight. “I never thought I would be able to transform my body and participate in new life challenges,” Rosie says. “In a few weeks, I will travel back to North Carolina to visit the True You team and tell each and every one of them how much they mean to me. I want them to know exactly what they have done for me and how grateful I am. I have a life now, and it’s beyond anything I ever expected it to be. I am so excited to crank it up even more!”