The reality star said she wanted to get healthy once she was sober

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated January 05, 2016 12:55 PM
Credit: MGoetz/Splash News Online

It was a rocky journey to weight loss, but Teen Mom OG‘s Amber Portwood is finally transforming her life.

After 17 months in jail on drug abuse and domestic violence charges, Portwood said she’s sober and has dropped over 35 lbs.

“What I had to do when I first got out [of jail] was focus on staying sober,” Portwood, 25, told Cosmopolitain. “But I always wanted to lose weight and get healthy again. That was my next step.”

For Portwood, it took time to feel ready to tackle yet another huge lifestyle change.

“When I started to feel comfortable with my sobriety, I was like, ‘Okay, now it’s time to go an extra step,’ ” she said. “That takes so much out of you that you really have to be dedicated and have the energy to do it.”

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“I’ve tried to transform my life into something new since I’ve been out,” Portwood said.

In August, she tweeted about her impressive weight loss progress.

“36 lbs. down and 15 more to go … almost at my goal,” Portwood wrote in the caption, along with a headshot. In the replies, Portwood explained that she dropped the weight over four months by eating healthy and cutting out bad carbs.

Later that month, she turned heads at fellow Teen Mom OG Catelynn Lowell’s wedding, where she looked significantly slimmer.

“Me and my babe looking all suave at Cate and Ty’s wedding yesterday,” she tweeted, along with a photo of her fiancé, Matt Baier.

Portwood told PEOPLE Monday that she and Baier were having issues, but he’s still the “love of her life.”

“We had a little rough patch, but we are doing so much better.”