At her highest weight Mama June Shannon tipped the scales at 460 lbs., now after intense surgery and seven weeks of hiding she’s finally debuting her new body and why she’ll “never go back” to being overweight.
After years of binge eating junk food combined with little to no exercise, Shannon steadily packed on the pounds. Once she found out her ex husband Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson was getting remarried, Shannon decided to get in shape for the wedding.
Viewers have since watched her drastic transformation on WE tv’s Mama June: From Not to Hot as the reality star spent upwards of $75,000 to have gastric sleeve surgery, breast augmentation and skin removal surgery on her “turkey neck,” “bat wings” and stomach — where a combined total 9 lbs. of skin was removed.
Now Shannon is adamant she’ll keep the nearly 300 lbs. off with better food decisions, exercise and portion control. “I can promise you I’m never going back to that size,” she says. “I’m happy where I’m at.”
- Watch People Features: Mama June’s Shocking Transformation, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on your favorite device.
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With her weight finally under control, Shannon hopes her daughters Lauryn “Pumpkin Shannon,” 17, and Alana “Honey Boo Boo Thompson,” 11, will embrace the same lifestyle changes, though it’s not something she’s forcing on them. (Shannon also has a 20-year-old daughter Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon and eldest, estranged daughter child Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell, 22.)
“I do worry about their health, but I’m not going to say, ‘You got to eat salads all the time,’ ” says Shannon. “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?”
- For more on Mama June Shannon’s weight loss transformation, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
While Shannon’s new diet is a learning process, she’s still allowing herself her favorite foods like barbecue and Mexican food in moderation — a lesson she learned the hard way.
“I’m not going to lie to you: I have thrown up, because you can’t over eat with the gastric sleeve,” she says. “That’s not a thing that I recommend to somebody. You realize what you can and can’t do, and when you do it that one time, you don’t do it again.”
The finale of Mama June: From Not to Hot airs Friday at 9 p.m. ET on WE tv.