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New year, new look - After battling weight gain, Stacy-Ann glows with remodelled figure for 2020

Published:Wednesday | January 1, 2020 | 12:00 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

Weight loss may be in your top 10 goals for the new year and this might have been sitting on that list for some years now. Trashing the quick fixes and making a lifestyle change may make the goal much easier to attain as Stacy-Ann Whyte Toolsie learned.

Being 5ft 6.5in tall, Whyte Toolsie had always tried to keep her weight within the range of 140 to 145 pounds.

“When I gave birth to my daughter in 2014, I gained almost 60 pounds. I thought it would have been easy [to lose] because I’ve always maintained my weight,” she said, noting that she visited her tailor and made new suits for her return to work.

However, her weight gain began to have a mental impact on her life and the ‘dressy, dressy’ educational social worker became most uncomfortable.

“The only thing I could grab from my wardrobe was something black – one black skirt, one black jacket – and I started buying dark grey, black, those colours that kinda slim the body when you put it on,” Whyte Toolsie said.

When the 36-year-old began to struggle with back pains because of the excess weight, she began exploring her options.

“I tried Herbalife, military diet, cabbage soup, I even tried Orlistat – that’s a medical weight-loss drug. I did everything you could possibly think about, and when I lost five pounds, I felt nice. When I lost 10, it was even sweeter,” Whyte Toolsie recounted.

But after she hit the 10-pound mark, the weight would return.

Whyte Toolsie told The Gleaner that it was her background in psychology and support from her husband that helped her keep it together when things were going downhill.

When she thought she had exhausted all options, she came across a newspaper article and was immediately convinced that she had found a perfect solution, as the method did not involve rubbing a creams or drinking concoctions.


After the first consultation, she was eager to undertake the gastric balloon procedure, which is part of a nutritional programme for people committed to losing weight and making a lifestyle change.

General, laparoscopic and weight-loss surgeon Dr Alfred Dawes explained that it is an outpatient procedure, which takes approximately 15 minutes. The gastric balloon, made of silicone, is placed into the stomach through the mouth and filled with fluid. It remains in the stomach for a year before it is removed.

“The balloon helps to slow the release of food from the stomach, so you’ll stay full for longer and you don’t feel as hungry. Alongside that, you would be on a supervised nutritional programme, whereby we look at the habits that are often a hindrance to the patient losing weight and keeping it off,” the weight-loss surgeon said.

In the first two weeks post-procedure, Whyte Toolsie had lost 25 pounds. Though she did not follow the nutritionist guide strictly, opting out of eating the full recommended portions, her results were still remarkable.

At her six-month visit in November, her doctor was surprised at how much weight she had lost, having moved from 245 pounds at her initial visit to 175 pounds.

“I can see my collarbone, my waistline is small, and I have not done much gym because of an accident, so I’ve been in physiotherapy, but my body has been transformed,” an exuberant Whyte Toolsie said as she boasted about her increased energy levels.