May 2, 2003
Following her 1997 appearance on The Oprah Show, Stacey felt too ashamed to return to talk about her unchanged weight. But all of that changed on May 2, 2003, when she agreed to appear on the show once again—because she had lost an incredible 218 pounds.
The catalyst, she said, was hitting rock bottom immediately after September 11, 2001. "I live a mile from ground zero," Stacey explained. "They closed off all the blocks from 14th Street, below. And I'm below. In order for me to get the basic necessities of what I needed, I would have had to go a quarter of a block...and I couldn't."
So, Stacey made the difficult decision to get gastric bypass surgery. Though it was a tough experience and recovery that she said she struggled with, Stacey said she made the right decision. "I went from immobile to mobile in the course of a year," she said.
With her newfound mobility, Stacey became more active. She started doing water aerobics, lifting weights and doing all of the things she could not do when she was 550 pounds, such as seeing a Broadway play, going to a movie or simply taking daily walks. In fact, now at 277 pounds, Stacey was even able to get a dog that she said she walks three times a day.
"I am living a much better quality life, and it's only going to get better," she said.