When Eri decided to pursue the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon weight loss treatment in 2022, she was ready to take back her life.
“For so many years, I was dedicated to my role as a mom, fulfilling my duties for work, and doing all these things for everyone else around me,” Eri says. “I finally reached a point where it was time to take back control and take care of me.”
Eri started struggling with her weight in 2006, after her daughter was born. Throughout the pregnancy, she gained weight—assuming it would come off naturally after giving birth and breastfeeding. She learned quickly that wouldn’t be the case for her.
At the same time, life’s stresses continued to grow as Eri pursued a career, experienced a separation and divorce from her husband, and moved across the country from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Life had become complicated and busy, and Eri lost control of her confidence and her health. Her excess weight eventually led to high blood pressure, low energy, anxiety, and depression.
“I was taking up to six medications a day for all my various health conditions,” Eri says. “Being only 38 years old, I didn’t want to be taking all those pills indefinitely.”
While she lost 70 pounds in 2012 by following her own exercise routine and healthy eating plan, Eri later fell off track and gained 50 pounds back again. By 2022, Eri was feeling frustrated and ashamed because she couldn’t find the motivation to lose the weight for a second time. She knew she needed a tool that could jumpstart her weight loss and help her rebuild healthy habits, but she knew did not want to undergo surgery.
While searching online, Eri discovered True You Weight Loss Atlanta and started reading about the Spatz3 Gastric Balloon. She read personal stories of other patients and felt a connection with their struggles. She was also encouraged to learn that the Spatz3 procedure was incisionless, non-surgical, and considered incredibly safe. From there, she scheduled her consultation with Dr. Daniel Maselli, one of the country’s first dedicated endobariatric physicians, triple-board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and obesity medicine.
“I remember feeling a sense of calm as soon as I spoke with Dr. Maselli,” Eri reflects. “He was so great, very welcoming, and I could tell he had a lot of experience in the field. It was then that I thought ‘this is the right thing for me.’”
By September 2022, Eri was arriving at the True You office in Atlanta for her Spatz3 gastric balloon procedure. Eri was amazed that her procedure would only take 15 minutes, but she knew these 15 minutes would change her life. Before she knew it, her procedure was complete and she was on her way home. Eri spent a few days at home, recovering—experiencing mild nausea and cramping. By day three after her procedure, Eri was back to work and resuming her normal daily activities.
In the first month, Eri dropped 15 pounds. By the eight-month mark when her balloon was removed, Eri had dropped a total of 55 pounds, and she is now feeling healthier than ever at a weight of 176 pounds. Her weight loss completely resolved her blood pressure problems, and she was thrilled to have her energy back. Returning to the gym regularly to work out with a personal trainer was another exciting achievement for Eri.
“Overall, I just started to feel much better, and my anxiety vastly improved as well,” Eri says.
Some strategies that helped Eri along her weight loss journey included monthly check-ins with her True You dietitian, Paige Stone; regular participation in support group Zoom calls with other True You patients; writing meticulous food journals; and the use of a weight loss app. She also had a balloon adjustment in February 2023—increasing the balloon’s volume to help boost weight loss. The Spatz3 balloon is the only adjustable balloon for weight loss in the United States.
“Even with medical intervention, weight loss is not easy,” Eri says. “It takes a lot of hard work, commitment and sacrifice, but the results are all worth it in the end. Personally, I could not have achieved such amazing results without the awesome support and guidance I received from the entire True You team. The support group also reminded me that I wasn’t alone, and sharing my struggles allowed me to feel more confident and in control.”
Today, Eri feels a huge sense of accomplishment in having successfully lost weight. She describes the support from True You as ‘having my own group of cheerleaders who never passed judgment and who were always there for me when I needed them.’
“I could even text Dr. Maselli directly and he would respond right back, which felt great,” Eri explains. “It brings tears to my eyes when I think about the whole experience and how everyone on the team has been so supportive and personable. To them, this is not just a job. They truly are amazing. For me, they created such a sense of calm about the entire process; I always felt comfortable, respected and like I was their top priority.”
These days, Eri is much more in control over what she eats and drinks. She hasn’t had to eliminate anything that she loves—such as cheeseburgers—but she chooses portion control instead of feeling like she has to finish every bite. It’s now common practice for Eri to share meals with others at the table or save leftovers to eat the next day.
More self-confidence has also enabled Eri to say “no thank you” when offered certain food or treats, something she was never able to do before. She now looks at food and her eating habits in an entirely different light.
Other non-scale victories include: feeling comfortable in sleeveless tops at the gym, fitting comfortably into her work uniform, and having more overall confidence. She says even little things like bending down to tie her shoes easily are making a difference in her everyday life.
“I would do this whole journey 10 times over again, if given the chance,” Eri concludes. “I would tell others who are contemplating the Spatz3 balloon or another weight loss procedure this—often, we care so much about what other people think, but the only one who really matters is you. Never feel ashamed, and just set realistic goals. Any weight loss journey is what you make of it for yourself. True You will give you the tools, but what you do with them is up to you. I’ve got my toolbox, and it continues to be my responsibility to plan my meals, exercise, live a healthy lifestyle, and keep the weight off.”
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