True You never pressured me to choose any option, nor did they push me to jump into anything too quickly. They gave me the space and time to make the best decision for me.
 Success Stories

When Hard Work Pays Off: Joy’s Journey with True You

If Dr. Joy Allen puts her mind to something, there is little doubt she will achieve it. A native of Raleigh, N.C., Joy attended and graduated from both The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and New Covenant International Bible College, with aspirations to become a clinical researcher and a pastor.  While she says her life is “busy, blessed, and good,” her struggle with weight has been a challenging journey over the years. 

Different Life Phases Bring New Weight Loss Challenges

Today, Joy is married and has two grown children. She has worked as a clinical researcher for almost 30 years and owns a side business teaching about personal defense. She has also been active in public ministry since 1994, serving as a church pastor and running a ministry out of her home. While juggling all of her commitments and responsibilities, Joy admits it took her a while to figure out her best strategy for weight loss.

Joy’s weight gain started with her first pregnancy. Before that, she was a dancer, managing the pressure to stay thin and fit. During those years, she grappled with disordered eating.

“As a dancer, I was extremely weight conscious,” says Joy.  “But when I became pregnant with my son, I gained a lot. I was a single mother and had some post-partum issues, so I was never able to lose that weight, and then I gained some more. A year later, I had reached 235 pounds.”

Joy Before

When Diets & Other Weight Loss Methods Fail

From that point on, Joy’s weight shifted up and down. She had no trouble losing weight, but keeping it off was the hard part – until her 40s, when losing weight also became a challenge. Later, Joy was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and then diabetes due to her weight. Over the years, she tried many different dieting methods in an effort to improve her health.

“I had always thought that eating only 1,200 calories per day and avoiding carbs were the keys to losing weight,” explains Joy.  “I also tried the keto diet and the Atkins™ Diet, and I went years without eating rice or bread.  Over time, I was eating less real food and replacing more meals with protein shakes and bars. It was not a sustainable way to live.”

Because of her past issues with eating disorders, Joy wanted to work with a physician to lose weight in a way that would keep her accountable but also healthy. She joined a physician-assisted weight loss group for a year and was successful at losing weight, but she became frustrated that she was forced to purchase their special foods and supplements.  She knew it wasn’t sustainable and that the highly processed foods weren’t particularly healthy.

Joy Discovers True You Weight Loss

In doing some online research about other weight loss clinics, Joy discovered True You Weight Loss, and she was impressed by the multitude of options they offered.

“There were several methods to choose from, and everything was well-thought-out and based on reliable research,” says Joy. “Additionally, there was nothing that said I had to purchase food from them – this was very attractive to me.”

Most importantly, Joy was impressed with the experience and credentials of the True You team. She even received a glowing recommendation about Dr. McGowan and his team from her own doctor. Eager to see how True You could help her, Joy decided to try their least invasive methods first, including working with a nutritionist and joining the True You Rx medication program. Both methods were helpful in getting her started on the path to better health – but she knew she needed something more to achieve her goals.

“I got stuck at around 185 pounds even after working with a nutritionist and incorporating intense exercise for several months,” reflects Joy. “Then, Mounjaro®, the weight loss medication, helped me drop to 170 pounds, but only a limited supply was available. After just two months, I couldn’t get it anymore, and I started gaining again.”

Joy Needs More & Chooses ESG

About two years after discovering True You, Joy was ready for something more significant to keep the weight off for good.  Meanwhile, she had proven to herself that she could be consistent with a workout routine to maintain muscle definition.  She wanted to find a tool that would help her avoid medications and supplements, help manage her food intake, and complement her exercise routine.  That tool, she decided, was ESG, or endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), a non-surgical, incisionless, minimally invasive procedure to reduce stomach size.

“From a medical perspective, I had no concerns – I had done my research,” says Joy.  “From an emotional perspective, I worried that people might think I was cheating, failing, or choosing an easy way out.  However, I knew that I was doing all the right things, and I wanted to get the absolute most out of all the effort I was putting in.”

In February 2023, Joy was excited to finally undergo her ESG procedure.  She describes her experience with True You as “wonderful” and says the entire team was friendly and kind, making her feel comfortable every step of the way.

She describes her ESG experience. “Everything was so much easier than I expected,” says Joy.  “It was a painless process, and I was back to work three days later.”

Joy Achieves Weight Loss Success

In the first month after her procedure, Joy experienced rapid weight loss, a jumpstart to long-term success. Today, Joy weighs 155 pounds, and her body fat is down to only 30 percent.  She is confident she will reach her ultimate goal of 145 pounds soon.

“I feel great and much healthier,” says Joy.  “I owe many thanks to the amazing True You nutrition team for the education and accountability they provided. They helped me reach a better understanding of food, and they found a healthy balance for my diet based on what my body needs.”

Better, Stronger & Healthier

Since her ESG, Joy has reintroduced many foods back into her diet, such as rice, and she is enjoying the positive impact weight loss has had on her health. Her diabetes has been resolved, and she has much more energy, making it possible now to get around with ease. Even a knee injury has become less challenging because she has less weight to carry.

“Having dropped so much weight, I no longer feel sluggish in the mornings, and I also have fewer headaches. My skin has even cleared up,” explains Joy.  “I can run errands, or run up and down the stairs without losing my breath, and everyday tasks are much easier in general.”

In addition to the positive health benefits, Joy has dropped from a size 14 to a size 8 in clothing and feels more confident as she navigates life.  Physically, she feels much stronger and can even do push-ups, pull-ups, and box jumps now at the gym.

“I didn’t know how bad I felt until I started feeling good,” explains Joy.  “What I thought was ‘normal’ really wasn’t good at all.  Sometimes, I wish I would have done ESG much sooner. But I have no regrets – I needed all of those experiences to truly know what would work for me.”

Gaining Control & Losing the Weight

For Joy, ESG has been the answer to gaining more control over her eating, creating better habits, and training herself to keep the weight off.  She gives much credit to Dr. McGowan and the True You team for their consistent support and compassion.

“They are humble and personable, and you can tell that they sincerely care,” says Joy. “They treat you like a person, not just a number, and this speaks volumes to me.”

To any friend, family member, or neighbor who wants to lose weight, Joy says she highly recommends True You and ESG. 

“True You never pressured me to choose any option, nor did they push me to jump into anything too quickly,” says Joy. “They gave me the space and time to make the best decision for me.”

Joy says she wishes more people knew about ESG and all of the benefits it offers – fewer complications, less medication, all without the need for invasive surgery.  Says Joy, “I believe that many more people could benefit from this amazing procedure.”

In the future, Joy is looking forward to taking a cruise with her family and wearing a bathing suit in public for the first time in a while.

“I am typically a very conservative person, so this is a big step for me,” concludes Joy.  “But I feel strong and confident.  I’m excited to continue working toward my weight loss goal while enjoying my life to the fullest.”

Success at a Glance

Top Non-Scale Victories:

  • Resolved diabetes and knee pain
  • More energy, clearer skin, fewer headaches
  • Went from size 14 to size 8 in clothing
True You never pressured me to choose any option, nor did they push me to jump into anything too quickly. They gave me the space and time to make the best decision for me.
Stats at a Glance
February 2023
May 2024

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