For most of his adult life, Scott was trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of losing weight, gaining it back, and then gaining more. Scott says he lost the same 100 pounds on four different occasions, but for multiple reasons, the weight just wouldn’t stay off. By 2023, Scott had reached more than 400 pounds and was desperate to make a change.
Weighed Down by Obesity & Other Challenges
Originally from Bristol, Va., Scott moved to Roanoke, Va., shortly after his college graduation. He still lives there today with his wife and two children. A dedicated middle school math teacher, Scott lives an incredibly active life through his work and hobbies. In addition to teaching, he drives a school bus, coaches youth sports, builds decks, and owns a home remodeling business. His three main jobs and busy lifestyle keep him on the go, however, in the past, challenges like weight gain, depression, and anxiety continuously threatened to slow him down.
“I am not a sedentary person, and I never have been,” Scott says. “I’ve always been active, regardless of my size. But I struggle with depression and anxiety, which leads to a lot of emotional eating and stress eating. I believe that mental health accounts for 60 to 70 percent of any weight battle.”
Fad Diets Not the Long-Term Solution for Scott
Before he found True You Weight Loss, Scott’s longtime mission to lose weight and regain control of his health was like a roller coaster ride. Over the years, he tried many different weight loss strategies and fad diets, including vitamins, weight loss drinks, pyramid schemes, the ketogenic (keto) diet, WeightWatchers®, medical-assisted diets, and even the controversial Xenadrine® supplement. Quite often, these diets and supplements seemed to work for Scott temporarily, but none of the strategies were sustainable for the long-term. Time and again, once he stopped dieting, the pounds would creep right back on, and then some.
A Milestone Moment – Scott Discovers True You
As Scott contemplated his long-term options, he evaluated bariatric surgery, weight loss medications and other procedures, but due to recovery time, cost and potential risks, he hadn’t yet found the right option. One day during lunch, he learned about True You Weight Loss from a friend and colleague who had undergone a bariatric revision procedure with founder and medical director Dr. Christopher McGowan.
“I had been doing my research and learned that if something unexpected happened to me during a weight loss procedure, my insurance company wouldn’t cover it,” Scott explains. “So I told my coworker that I couldn’t afford to take that kind of risk. Then she said something that changed my life. She said, ‘Scott, what risk you are taking now by doing nothing?’”
Scott says this comment made by a good friend inspired him to take immediate action. He immediately started researching Dr. McGowan and True You, and was very impressed. After learning about the non-surgical endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), Scott was excited to have found a new potential solution. He was also happy to learn that True You Weight Loss was located in Cary, N.C., only a few hours from Roanoke. Eager to set up a consultation with True You, Scott was certain this was going to be the right option for his long-term weight loss goals.
“My consultation in March 2023 was just a formality for me,” Scott says. “I had already researched the procedure and knew I was ready to do it, but it was important for me to learn more about what to expect from recovery – and to learn about the potential risks of the procedure. Once I was reassured about these considerations, I got really excited that there was actually an option out there that could work for me.”
An Incredible ESG Experience for Scott
On his procedure day, Scott felt excited but nervous. He knew ESG would offer the chance he needed to renew his health. Scott wanted to be sure he was around to enjoy and support his family for many more years. With his wife by his side, he met Dr. McGowan and was convinced he was in the very best hands.
After his procedure, Scott experienced some nausea and minor cramps but absolutely no pain. He was ready and eager to return to his normal life. Scott’s ESG was on a Thursday morning, and by Friday afternoon, he was already back in Roanoke to attend his son’s soccer game.
“After the procedure, I committed myself to following my recovery and post-procedure diet exactly as the True You team directed me. Even today, I am still doing exactly what I am supposed to do.”
In the first month after his ESG, Scott lost 40 pounds while adjusting to the post-procedure diet progression.
“As I adjusted to my new diet, I found myself learning more about how food affected me emotionally,” Scott admits. “I avoided social events for a while, and even today I try to stay away from things like buffets and pizza parties as I work through my relationship with food.”
Scott Seeks Support in Many Different Ways
To address this additional aspect of his weight loss journey, Scott has been working with a psychologist regularly to further explore and manage his emotional connection with food. Scott feels that the work he is putting into his mental health has been a huge part of his weight loss success. Additionally, Scott is happy he can lean on his True You dietitian Lori when he has questions, concerns, or anxieties about his new diet or eating habits.
“My dietitian Lori and Dr. McGowan are always responsive anytime I have questions or concerns – or even when I just want to share my latest non-scale victories. I’ll text Dr. McGowan, and he will text right back. I love to send him photos of things I’m doing that I never felt would be possible – whether it’s something as simple as fitting into clothes found at a regular store or the fact that I can finally fit into a student-size school desk,” Scott shares.
Finally, Scott says the support of his family – including his wife and children – has helped him overcome any doubts he had about his ability to succeed. He adds, “I am so fortunate to have an incredible support group made up of coworkers, family, and friends that motivate me more than they know.”
Scott Achieves True Weight Loss Success
In less than six months, Scott has lost more than 150 pounds and has never felt better. While Scott never set a final weight loss goal for himself, he did set benchmarks along the way and is pleased to report he has achieved his final benchmark of 250 pounds – and he’s still losing.
“Once I hit 250, every pound I lose is a bonus,” Scott says.
Today, Scott has much more energy to perform his duties as a teacher, deck builder, and home renovator. Everything is much easier now that he no longer battles knee pain or shortness of breath. He is also proud of his new ability to manage and control his eating habits.
“Before my ESG, when I ate out, I would drink four sodas, an appetizer, my meal, and the remainder of everyone else’s meals,” Scott remembers. “These days, I can still eat the foods I enjoy, but I know how to control my portions. I’m conscious of my proteins and carbohydrates, and when I order a meal, I proactively box up half of it for leftovers.”
Non-Scale Victories & Excitement for the Future
Meanwhile, Scott is reveling in his new life. When traveling, he’s able to fly without a seatbelt extender, and in his renovation work, Scott can climb on the roof and fit in between deck rails that he couldn’t have imagined just a year ago. Shopping for clothes is enjoyable again and he even took off his shirt at a public pool over the summer, something he hadn’t done for years.
“I feel much more confident now, but for me, it’s not all about the weight,” Scott explains. “Both physically and mentally, I am a better me because of this procedure and because of True You. Everything has come full circle.”
In the future, Scott is excited for a family trip to Dollywood where he plans to ride roller coasters, another activity he has not been able to do for years. He is also excited to get back into golf and adjust his game based on his new and smaller body.
To anyone who is considering ESG or another weight loss procedure with True You, Scott says it has been an incredible experience – and he considers himself the practice’s number one advocate. He also acknowledges that ESG is a commitment that requires lifelong work and attention.
“My ESG was the first decision I ever made that was all about me, and it’s been such a powerful journey,” Scott says. “At the same time, ESG is a tool, not a means to an end. But if you do the work and you partner with True You, your entire life will change for the better. Meanwhile, give yourself grace and set attainable goals. Every day is an opportunity to do better. It’s not about yesterday, it’s about looking forward and getting on the right track.”