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TIME FOR A CHANGE
Mama June Shannon of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo — famous for raising pageant princess Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and dishing out plates of "sketti" (a.k.a. spaghetti noodles topped with heaps of butter and liberal squirts of ketchup) — decided she was ready to drop some pounds and get her health in check. With the wedding of her cheating ex, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, coming up, the then-37-year-old reality star underwent a series of weight loss and plastic surgeries, documenting the process in a WEtv series, Mama June: From Not to Hot. The first of the seven one-hour episodes saw Mama June being wheeled into surgery. "I'm going to look completely different," she promised. But "I'm scared, too."
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Surgery wasn't the last stop, though: Mama June also enlisted trainer Kenya Crooks to whip her into shape — which meant ridding her kitchen of indulgences like ice cream and candy. Though on the verge of giving up, she kept persevering, telling viewers, "This surgery is the scariest thing I've ever done, but I mean, there is a skinnier person inside of me."
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Daughter Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon dished about her mother's changing physique, saying she actually got a gastric sleeve in May 2015, but saw her weight loss taper off. "It came to a point where [the trainer] had to step in because she hit another plateau with the gastric sleeve, and wasn't losing any more weight," she explained to Entertainment Tonight. But with a decreasing number on the scale came excess skin, which Mama June had surgically removed. "She got her boobies done," Pumpkin also shared. "She got them from a 44 long to 36 up."
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"When I tell you this is the greatest transformation of all time, get ready," trainer Crooks (pictured) told PEOPLE of the reality star’s slim down, which WEtv is calling "the most shocking transformation in reality TV history." Though final results won't be seen until the From Not to Hot finale, Crooks promised "you won't even be able to recognize her." Part of the process included "changing how she looked at food," the trainer said. "We had to cut down the portions." Now, "she's doing awesome. She's killing it, but we're looking at making it even more so."
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"I’ve never felt this good before," Mama June admitted on a recent episode of From Not to Hot. "Eating healthy gives me a lot more energy, which makes me work out harder and makes me lose the weight faster."
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A MAJOR MILESTONE
While shopping for a flower girl dress for Honey Boo Boo to wear to Sugar Bear's wedding, Mama June was convinced to slip into a gown herself — and was amazed at what she saw in the mirror. "I may not wanna be getting married, but damn, I look mighty hot in a wedding dress," she said.
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SEEING THE FINISH LINE
"I'm definitely not going to have any more [surgeries]," Mama June shared on the Dominic Nati Show, adding that the WEtv didn't foot the bill for her transformation. "I had to pay, just like everybody else," she said. But the surgeries were "going to happen whether I had [bills] or not."
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A BIG LOSS
"When I started losing the weight, I weighed over 450 lbs.," Mama June said on a recent episode of From Not to Hot. "I had the gastric sleeve [surgery] and lost 160 lbs." Her current weight? Just 199 lbs. A size 4 "revenge dress" is hanging in her closet, a gift from niece Amber to wear to Sugar Bear's wedding.
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Able to flaunt her figure in public post-reveal, Mama June got playful with photographers on April 3, 2017, seemingly following a trip to the gym.
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NEVER GOING BACK
In a post-reveal interview with PEOPLE, Shannon said she is adamant she'll keep the nearly 300 lbs. she lost off with better food decisions, exercise and portion control. "I can promise you I'm never going back to that size," she said. "I'm happy where I'm at."
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With her weight in control, Shannon is now focused on her daughters Lauryn "Pumpkin Shannon," 17, and Alana "Honey Boo Boo Thompson," 12. "I do worry about their health, but I'm not going to say, 'You got to eat salads all the time,' " Shannon told PEOPLE. "I've seen Pumpkin and Alana lose and gain weight, but I don't want them to end up like I did at 460 lbs. Who would want that?"
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NEW YORK, NEW LOOK
Arriving in N.Y.C. on April 4, 2017, with Honey Boo Boo, Shannon showed off her curves in a flattering empire top and black leggings — accessorized with a big smile.
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"It's kind of like I'm in my own disguise," she told PEOPLE Now. "A lot of people don't recognize who I am until I talk. I haven't been noticed that much in New York."
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ALL ABOUT JUNE
Halfway through the process of getting her "revenge body," Mama June decided to shift her focus, she told PEOPLE. "I was like, 'This needs to be about me and making myself happy.' "
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SPREADING HER MESSAGE
Joining her trainer Kenya Crooks for a chat with PEOPLE Now about her new diet plan, Mama June had advice for people looking to follow in her weight loss footsteps. "Take it one day at a time," she said. "Don't ever give up. You don't have to be perfect, just take it at the pace you want to. It's all in moderation, especially the eating!"
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NEW YEAR, SAME WEIGHT
In a January 2017 interview with PEOPLE, ahead of the season 2 premiere of her series, Mama June revealed she'd continued to keep the weight off thanks to one special diet trick: sleeping until 1 p.m. (Gym visits and eating in moderation were in there, too.)
“This sounds bad,” she said, “but I’m more of a snacker.” A typical snack for Shannon consists of grapes and cheese, and then for dinner a healthy meal like “baked chicken and quinoa” or “baked pork chops, corn and beans,” which she described as her go-to dish.
“I get on the scale religiously,” Shannon added. “I fluctuate, but the most I’ve gained back is five pounds. My legs are still a little bit fat and I have a jiggle-o and some cottage cheese, but I feel like I got what I wanted,” she continued, adding that “when I look in the mirror, I’m happy.”
Mama June: From Hot to Not returns to WEtv on Friday, Jan. 12.
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RED CARPET READY
Mama June turned heads on the red carpet for WE tv’s Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta season 2 premiere in Atlanta on Jan. 9, 2018, showing off her 300-lb. weight loss in a deep blue gown with cut-out sleeves and silver heels.
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