We’re in the profession that we’re in because we have an unwavering passion and commitment to the betterment of other peoples’ lives. Joanna is one of them. Although her story is undoubtedly rooted in trauma and pain, how she has risen above the trials of her life is what inspires us beyond belief. See how weight loss surgery was just one step in changing her life for the better.

A constant weight battle

Joanna is one of the millions of women who have struggled with her weight. Her weight of 202lbs in 2017 paired with her short stature affected her appearance and confidence and prompted her to seek a solution. In November of 2017, she decided to undergo weight-loss surgery — the gastric sleeve procedure, performed by Dr. Matthew Metz — and exactly a year later, her weight was down by 50lbs. She also went from a size 14/XL top to a size 1/XS top — a significant feat that bolstered her overall sense of wellbeing.

However, despite reaching an ideal weight and clothing size, it wasn’t everything. She was stuck in an undesirable relationship. In 2020, she drew a line in the sand and filed for divorce. She used the pandemic as an opportunity to grow her reputation as a renowned community activist and started a ‘pandemic pod’ for underprivileged children, hosted in a small makeshift classroom in her home. The class of 11 children garnered national attention, with the recognition earning her a $15,000 grant to support her home-based classroom. Despite the fulfillment that came with this, Joanna was still struggling mentally due to the end of her marriage and used food to cope, sneaking away to the kitchen for snacks in between teaching her children. This led to further weight gain but did not eradicate the effects of her initial surgery entirely — she has lost some of the weight she put on and is still at the lowest weight ever, sitting happily at 132lbs, a 70lb difference from her 2017 self.

Inspiring others

Joanna has every reason to be living life on her knees, knocked down by the various trials and trauma that she’s experienced. Instead, Joanna is using her personal story to inspire and uplift others. Her weight-loss journey was a huge part of her story and has encouraged others not to be ashamed to take the necessary steps towards a happier life. She will be launching a new NPO called You C.A.N (Community Action Network) and received the ‘Courage Award’ from Mayor Hancock and the Executive Director of the Rose Andom Centre for speaking up about her relationship — courage that we can do nothing but admire.

We can only hope to have just half the strength that Joanna has, but she is a prime example of never giving up and unadulterated resilience. The change of her life started with weight-loss surgery — this is possible for you, too. For more information on how we can help you feel and look happier and healthier, get in touch with us.