It was March 2022, and Adria, 44, a single mom from Charlotte, North Carolina, was ready to make some major life changes. She had a loving two-year-old daughter, Aurora, and a successful career as a human resources manager; yet, her struggle with being overweight left her not feeling her best—physically and emotionally. When Adria’s weight hit 202 pounds, she decided she was ready to find the best version of herself—for both her daughter’s benefit and for her own quality of life.
“When I started thinking about my daughter getting older, I knew I needed to make some changes that would help me improve my health and life,” Adria explains. “At the same time, I’d spent enough time in therapy to understand that I had a pattern of toxic relationships with both people and food—and I was ready to change that. I realized if I wanted to have healthy relationships, I needed to start by loving myself first. So, I decided that 2022 would be the year of a BETTER me.”
Being overweight led Adria to struggle both emotionally and physically—she experienced anxiety and depression and was also diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Like many, Adria tried nearly every diet and weight loss strategy imaginable. From the keto diet and intermittent fasting to intense and unsustainable exercise routines, Adria saw her weight fluctuate up and down over the years—but never saw the results she wanted. She endured unpleasant side effects from weight loss medications, yet none of these drastic measures were sustainable for the long term. She was ready to find something different that would help her lose the weight and keep it off for the long term.
“Once I made the decision to focus on myself, I started looking online for weight loss procedures in the Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham areas,” Adria explains. “Initially, I considered liposuction, but the surgeon told me I needed to lose 25 to 30 pounds in order to qualify. That’s when I knew I needed some type of medical intervention because I could not get to that point on my own.”
Through her online research, Adria discovered Spatz3, the world’s only adjustable gastric bypass balloon. When she found that True You Weight Loss and its founder, Dr. Christopher McGowan, were offering the Spatz3 procedure just down the highway, in Cary, North Carolina, she was ready to take the next step.
“I was so excited to find a non-invasive, outpatient procedure that didn’t require incisions or hospitalization,” Adria explains. “I also liked that the balloon would allow me to develop healthier eating habits that I could continue after the balloon was removed. The fact that it could be adjusted in the event of a stall or plateau was also very appealing to me.”
By April 2022, Adria had decided to move forward with Spatz3 and was traveling to True You in Cary to receive the balloon. On the day of her procedure, she weighed 197 pounds. She hoped to get her weight down to 175 pounds—which her care team assured her was a realistic goal.
After her balloon placement procedure, Adria recalls feeling some pain and nausea, followed by a period of feeling tired and having low energy—all of which she was prepared for. During her recovery, Dr. McGowan and her care team followed up regularly so she never felt alone.
“Dr. McGowan was always available to answer any questions that I had, and my entire care team was so supportive. They all guided me through my recovery with care and compassion,” Adria says. “In the first month, I lost 10 pounds right away. And, when my weight plateaued, the team helped me overcome those challenges, too.”
Adria’s nutritionist provided guidance on portion sizes and eating strategies she’d never learned before, and it was exactly what she needed to jumpstart her weight loss again. For the first time in her life, Adria realized that the “clean-your-plate policy” from childhood was not something she had to follow and that consciously paying attention to portions would be key to her success.
“Working with my dietitian helped change my entire mindset about eating,” Adria says. “Now, if I am full, I listen to my body, and walk away from my food, or I put it in the fridge and save my leftovers.”
The True You team also helped Adria adjust her caloric intake so that she was no longer feeling hungry but was also staying within her limits. In August 2022, Adria returned to True You for a balloon adjustment, and she credits all of these factors with helping her start losing again, at a rate of three to four pounds per month. Before long, she surpassed her original weight goal of 175 pounds. By February 2023, Adria had lost a total of 32.3 pounds, weighing in at 164.8 pounds. She is now in a healthy range for body mass index (BMI) for the first time in her life and is wearing the smallest clothing size she has ever worn as an adult: a size 10.
“Wearing a size 10 is truly something that makes me feel a certain way,” Adria says. “I feel so good when I try on clothes now, and I feel attractive. I also feel a new sense of confidence about who I am and what I want. My anxiety and depression are gone, and I believe that I deserve all the good things life has to offer. My whole outlook on life is much more positive.”
After a recent visit with her primary care doctor, Adria was also thrilled to discover that all of her bloodwork came back perfect—she no longer has any issues with blood pressure or cholesterol, and she was able to completely discontinue all of her medication for anxiety and depression.
“My overall sense of well-being has vastly improved,” Adria adds. “For exercise, I take walks all the time, and I am conscious about what I eat. I watch my sugars and have cut out many breads and sugary drinks, such as sweet tea. I also balance my proteins and carbohydrates—these are things that I never thought to do before.”
Since her weight loss, Adria now has the energy to have dance parties with her daughter every weekend and get down on the floor to actively play with her anytime she wants. She is also making herself a priority again—doing things that were once outside of her comfort zone, such as having fun with a personal photo shoot and using social media to share pictures of herself and her daughter. Adria is also looking forward to a girls’ trip with her best friend this spring, and she credits the team at True You with helping her reach this new and improved version of herself.
“I never would have done any of these things in my past life! This is all such a big deal for me,” Adria shares. “I am so grateful for Dr. McGowan and the entire True You team. I am so happy with my results and my new outlook on life, and I am so excited for my future.”