For almost 30 years, John Rogers, a married IT professional from Atlanta, battled obesity. While he could often lose weight by trying the latest fad diet or appetite suppressant, keeping the weight off was a struggle John had yet to overcome. Nothing he’d found was ever sustainable enough to maintain weight loss for the long term.
“Over the years, weight loss had been like a yo-yo process for me,” says John. “I would try different things, and the pounds would drop off easily—but then they would always come back. It really came down to my insatiable appetite, which had always been my downfall.”
By 2009, John had reached 400 pounds and felt a sense of urgency about turning his health around. He decided to try gastric Lap Band surgery, an adjustable gastric band placed around the upper part of the stomach, and it worked wonders for him. John lost a huge amount of weight, but he eventually started experiencing major health issues. Something had gone terribly wrong with his Lap Band, and he stopped being able to eat or even drink water. John’s weight had dropped to 176 pounds, 14 pounds less than his normal weight of 190 pounds—but he was feeling miserable. In late 2011, he learned after an imaging procedure that his stomach had become extremely twisted, and he promptly underwent emergency surgery to remove the Lap Band. The whole experience was very painful and difficult for John.
While he was able to recover and get back to good health, John knew he would be hesitant about trying any other weight loss surgery in the future. Inevitably, after several years—John’s weight started to creep back up. Before he knew it, John’s weight was over 300 pounds again.
“I then tried appetite suppressants, prescribed by my doctor, and those worked well for a few months,” explains John. “But, when it was time to come off of that medication, my constant hunger returned, and the weight came right back on again.”
John was frustrated and had no energy to spare. His weight left him unable to enjoy some of his favorite activities, such as walking his dogs or participating in mission trips with his church, for fear of being too tired or injuring himself along the way. So, when he heard about True You Weight Loss on the radio, John was intrigued. He was initially interested in receiving an intragastric balloon to help with appetite suppression, but he soon discovered he might not be a candidate for that procedure due to his previous abdominal surgeries. A virtual consultation with a True You nurse practitioner helped him sort out the details.
“I learned that I was in a gray area because of my prior Lap Band experience,” explains John. “Eligibility for the intragastric balloon is based upon not having had any prior gastric bypass surgeries. While I had not had gastric bypass and my Lap Band had been removed, a balloon still would have been pretty risky for me. The True You nurse practitioner was wonderful at helping me understand my health and my options, and she then recommended endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG). Together, along with my wife, we decided that ESG would be the best choice for me.”
By August 2, 2022, John was on his way to the True You office in Atlanta to meet Dr. Daniel Maselli and to have his much-anticipated ESG procedure.
“Because I had been through several major surgeries by that point, I wasn’t even slightly nervous about undergoing a non-surgical weight loss procedure like ESG,” says John. “I remember feeling very even-keeled that day. The entire team at True You was great, which also helped—they were both calm and professional, and I knew I was in good hands.”
John explains that recovering from ESG was easy compared to his previous surgical procedures. He also relates that transitioning to foods after ESG was far simpler than what he’d experienced with the Lap Band, which led to frequent bouts of extreme nausea and vomiting. As time moved on, John started to notice some big changes in his habits and overall health.
“I soon realized that the ESG was significantly helping me control my appetite and overcome my evening food cravings,” says John. “After dinner, I would feel full and stay full—and I wouldn’t have the desire to eat anymore. That was a huge mental shift for me—a change in my mindset that has kept me moving in the right direction.”
Within three months of his ESG, John had lost 20 percent of his body weight, and within six months, he had lost almost 100 pounds. Today, John is down from his starting weight of 314 pounds to an astounding 219, and he could not feel any better.
“I have significantly more energy now than I have ever had before, and that started just about four to six weeks after my procedure,” explains John. “The key for me has been eating less and feeling energized. As a result, I have been walking more for exercise, which has helped me lose more weight. It has been a wonderful benefit.”
In his new body, John has been able to return to the activities he loves, such as walking his two dogs—Cy, a Boxer, and Elsie, a Greyhound—for close to two hours a day, broken up into multiple 15-to-30-minute walks. John has also gotten back into participating in short-term mission trips with his beloved church. He is part of a group of men who travel to areas in the United States, such as Louisiana, that have been affected by hurricane damage. They help with the repair and reconstruction of ruined homes, performing tasks such as putting up new ceilings and walls, doing siding work, and even tarping and rebuilding roofs. This year, he has already completed one mission trip to Louisiana, and he is looking forward to a second trip this spring to Wears Valley Ranch in Tennessee.
“This has been a huge deal for me because it is work that I love, and I am finally healthy enough to do it again,” says John. “Not only do I have my energy back, but I don’t have to worry about getting hurt like I did when I was overweight. I want to be able to continue doing this mission work for as long as the Lord will allow me.”
John is also thrilled to have packed away all of his larger clothes which he has replaced with much smaller sizes—it’s been a feeling of accomplishment that gives him much satisfaction. Meanwhile, throughout the ESG process, John has felt so much support from his loving wife.
“In the past, my wife could see how much my obesity was negatively affecting me. She is now so glad to see me happy and to see how much energy I have to experience things again,” says John. “This entire process has been life-changing. I’ve finally lost the weight and am living my best life. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
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