In their battle with the bulge, celebrities and good friends Raymond Gutierrez and Georgina Wilson thought of going under the knife—until they found non-invasive solutions that are “60 percent as effective” as liposuction.
“Liposuction did cross my mind at one point, but my fear of needles and anything invasive prevented me from undergoing it,” said Gutierrez.
Wilson thinks differently. Since the sought-after cover girl has always embraced an active lifestyle, she wanted to lose every pound the hard way.
“I’m not averse to working out, but I noticed that no matter what I did, my figure wouldn’t budge anymore,” said Wilson. “And the Bench underwear show was fast approaching. I wasn’t born with a naturally curvy body, but I couldn’t imagine myself being seen in public in bra and panty looking as I did.”
Then, Dr. Vicki Belo offered them Sexy Solutions (SS), her new clinic in Makati, which specializes in non-invasive treatments to zap unwanted bulges.
Gutierrez’s efforts have been quite dramatic. He claims to dread the idea of weighing himself before and after, but has so far lost seven inches around his problematic “midsection” after three months of SS comprehensive fitness program.
“I actually don’t know how much weight I lost,” said Gutierrez, whose before and after images are now splashed on billboards. “But judging from inches I lost and the way I went down several clothes sizes, I’d say I was able to shed 30-40 pounds.”
While the results were less dramatic on Wilson, she emerged looking firmer, curvier and leaner after the program.
“I credit it for giving me a 25-inch waistline,” she said.
SS is a sister company of Belo Medical Group (BMG). While BMG has more invasive and drastic procedures to a trim figure, SS advances a kinder and perhaps more holistic approach through a series of non-invasive procedures and advice on fitness and nutrition.
Apart from Belo, SS, which is managed by Belo’s daughter Cristalle Henares, has nutritionist Nadine Tengco and fitness professional Edward Mendez.
Tengco has made a so-called non-inflammatory diet, which she tweaks to suit the individual needs of clients.
Inflammation, which comes with age and unhealthy lifestyle, has been identified as the root cause of superficial concerns such as wrinkles and flabby midsection, as well as life-threatening diseases like diabetes.
Tengco, a licensed nutritionist who’s also a consultant for both Sexy Chef and the TV show “Pinoy’s Biggest Loser,” has also created food products such as the fat-flush drink, which helps SS clients get rid of melted fat through their natural bowel movement.
How did Gutierrez and Wilson do it? They first had weekly sessions of Lipo Cavitation, Multi-Firm and TiteFX, which, done on customized schedule, are “60 percent as effective” as having a liposuction, said Belo.
“Under a microscope, fat really looks like a balloon,” Belo explained. “Those tiny balloons are actually fat cells housing the fat. What makes liposuction so effective is we actually suck out fat cells. That’s why they don’t come back in the same area because we’ve effectively removed the house.”
In Belo’s book, liposuction with Bodytite, a machine that tightens skin as it melts away remnants of fat, is still the gold standard. Smartlipo, or laser-assisted lipo, which is “80 percent as effective,” comes in second.
Wilson was neither fat nor overweight. Liposuction or even Ultrashape, which is designed for really obese patients, would have been too much for her.
But a pinch test Belo did on Wilson’s tummy showed she clearly had subcutaneous fat that needed some zapping.
“I couldn’t forget the day Dr. Belo pinched me in the tummy,” she said. “It’s ingrained in my memory. I couldn’t believe I had so much unwanted fat. And I thank people like Tita Annabelle (Rama) who was so vocal. ‘George, tumaba ka ng todo!’ If not for such comments, I wouldn’t have sought help.”
Gutierrez’s wake-up call happened a few weeks after last year’s Star Magic Ball, when, in a tuxedo, he looked in the mirror and tried to reassure himself. None of his friends, including Wilson, had the heart to tell him that he should seek professional help.
“I told myself I was handsome and looking sharp,” he said. “But who was I fooling? My whole life, I’ve had to deal with being overweight. Being on TV, I feel I owe it to my audience to present myself in the best way possible. I owe it to myself to stay fit and healthy.”
Diet and exercise can do only so much, he added. There are problem areas in the body that require some “intervention.” He has found it, he said, in Sexy Solutions.
Multi-Firm is 50 percent more effective than earlier generations of radio-frequency machines that are commonly used on the market today, said Belo.
Since it’s “tripolar,” Multi-Firm has several positive and negative poles that go through the skin beyond the adipose layer. While the penetrating heat slowly melts fat, the heat on top tightens the skin.
“Through ultrasonic energy, it produces a vibrating action that causes the fat cells or the houses to expand,” said Belo. “Once they do, the fat turns liquid and leaks out through little pores in the fat cells.”
Lipo Cavitation promotes better blood circulation, especially among mature clients whose blood vessels have become a tad narrow with age. In short, the machine helps in the proper elimination of dissolved fat.
According to Henares, the services Sexy Solutions offers are ideal for people who are at the most 20-30 pounds overweight. It could also work for women with problem areas like their tummies (puson) and wings (the upper back that’s usually exposed if they wear backless and strapless numbers).
“That’s why Rajo Laurel and I are doing a bridal package to help future brides look good in their wedding gowns,” said Henares.
Gutierrez and Wilson have been so encouraged by initial results that they’ve now supplemented their weight-loss regimen at Sexy Solutions with changes in lifestyles.
“I was in New York recently and, except for a few items, did the bulk of my shopping at a Nike store,” said Gutierrez. “Rather than stay up late and drink with friends, I now try to sleep early and work out the next day. Georgina and I find it funny because the gym and Sexy Solutions have become our new hangouts.”
“I just want everyone to know that you’re not stuck with the body you have,” said Wilson. “If you’re not happy with your body, there’s always something you can do about it.”