10 Celebrities Who Were Honest About Having Weight Loss Surgery
O'Donnell underwent gastric sleeve surgery in 2013, a procedure that she says, "changed my life." The TV personality made the decision to get serious about weight loss after having a heart attack a year earlier at age 50. She says the doctors removed part of her stomach that contained hunger hormones. "That changes the way you think and feel about food," she told PEOPLE. "I feel so much freer now in terms of needing to move and play with my kids.”
The Today anchor and meteorologist had gastric bypass surgery in the early aughts, dropping 150 lbs. from a pre-surgery weight of 340 lbs. The transition went well at first, but after his mother fell ill, he regained 40 lbs. “I went back,” Roker said on Today. “And I hated it. I know what I have to do now to keep that from happening again.” These days, he sticks to a strict high-protein, low-carb diet.
After reaching 350 lbs., Barr underwent gastric bypass surgery in 1998. Talking about the procedure in 2007, she quipped: "I had my entire digestive system removed, so I should look thinner!" The star has been open about her struggles with weight loss and has also undergone a tummy tuck and breast reduction in past years. "Nips and tucks are okay if people feel they want to do that," she told WebMD. "It comes from feeling insecure, though, it's like a walking ad for 'insecure.' "
Jones revealed her decision to have gastric bypass surgery in a 2008 essay for Glamour. She said she used food to deal with her insecurities when she was getting her start in television. It wasn't until a friend expressed concern for her health that Jones acknowledged her weight could be a problem. She underwent gastric bypass surgery shortly thereafter. She wrote in Glamour that it's never a quick fix, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for others. "I've been afforded the luxury of consulting numerous doctors, specialists and colleagues who concluded that this surgery was the only way I could regain control of my life," she wrote. "It worked for me, but if you face a similar struggle, you'll have to find what works for you. It isn't an easy fix, and the recovery doesn't end when you come out of anesthesia — that's when the real work begins."
Sidibe has always been a proponent of self-love, no matter your size. But after years of trying to lose weight naturally and then being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the Empire actress decided to undergo laproscopic bariatric surgery. "I just didn't want to worry," she told PEOPLE of her choice. "I truly didn’t want to worry about all the effects that go along with diabetes. I genuinely [would] worry all the time about losing my toes." She says she waited a long time to have the surgery because she wanted to do it on her own. In the end, though, she realized it was right for her body. "I'm glad that I finally realized that the surgery wasn’t the easy way out," she said. "I wasn't cheating by getting it done. I wouldn’t have been able to lose as much as I’ve lost without [the surgery]. I spent years trying to lose this much weight, and I didn’t do it. I wish I’d done it sooner."
MAMA JUNE SHANNON
After having gastric sleeve surgery in 2016, the reality star told PEOPLE that her days of binge-eating were over. Shannon sticks to a low-carb, low-sugar diet (with a few indulgences, like the occasional Little Debbie jelly-filled pie). In addition to having the gastric sleeve inserted, she also had skin removed in several places, as well as liposuction, an arm lift and breast implants.
After years of struggling with her weight, Osbourne chose to have lap band surgery in 1999. But it was no cure-all: She admitted in 2006 that she had gained 15 lbs. from overeating, and had to remove the band. So she decided to take a different approach: psychotherapy. “I have to figure out why I do what I do to myself,” she told PEOPLE. Nearly a decade later, she doesn't regret her choice: "I felt [like] such a cheat when I had that band on my stomach, and people are saying, 'You look wonderful!' " she told Entertainment Tonight. "And I'd go, 'Thank you, I just have to leave and vomit.' "
Just a year after finding fame on American Idol, Jackson underwent gastric bypass surgery, which he was inspired to do after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2001. Though he eventually lost more than 100 lbs., he told WebMD that he was still working on his relationship with food. "The struggle continues," he said. "It never ends. I am not some trainer with a half-percentage of body fat. I am a real guy dealing with obesity."
The Wilson Phillips singer has undergone two different weight loss surgeries: gastric bypass in 2000 and lap-band surgery in 2012. After the first procedure, Wilson lost 150 lbs. — and the second surgery continued to help her her slim down. “It was the right decision for me and I’m doing really well so far,” Wilson told PEOPLE of the decision to go under the knife for a second time. “It’s all about taking good care of myself.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star's struggle with weight was always a plot point on the show. But it was still big news when Manzo announced she underwent lap-band surgery in 2012. The procedure led to a 30-lb. weight loss, and Manzo has zero regrets: "I hated myself," she said. "I was depressed. Getting the lap band was the best thing I've done in my life."