Star Jones: I Had Gastric Bypass Surgery
The Court TV host writes about why she kept the procedure a secret
Star Jones Reynolds has been candid about many issues in her life – getting fired from The View or rumors that her marriage was failing – but she’s remained mum about the secret behind her weight loss.
Now, in the September issue of Glamour, she’s admitting that, yes, she had gastric bypass surgery – despite previously only admitting to having undergone a “medical intervention.”
Why the delay in speaking up? “First, I didn’t know if the surgery would work,” she writes in the first-person essay. “I had spent my entire adult life telling everyone that I was fine with the way I looked. I never thought I’d have to explain it.
“But the complete truth is, I was scared of what people might think of me.”
Jones Reynolds, 45, begins her Glamour essay on Aug. 19, 2003, the day of her surgery, and she writes, “I was so angry: How had I allowed myself to get to 307 pounds?”
Tracking her weight gain over the years – peaking after she rapidly gained about 75 lbs. following her 40th birthday – Jones Reynolds describes feeling lonely and using food as a tool to fill the void. “Whenever I felt lonely, a Double Whopper with cheese became my friend. If I felt sad, six strips of bacon made me feel better.”
“Even though I claimed to be just fine with my weight, I saw how other women [colleagues] were treated like the girlfriend, while I was treated like the good friend, she writes about her first job with NBC News in 1991. “To compensate for my insecurities, I spoke louder and ate more.”
After a close friend intervened, Jones Reynolds says she consulted doctors and went in for a successful gastric bypass operation in 2003.
After undergoing her surgery, the Court TV host said she didn’t expect so much public scrutiny. So, she says, she sidestepped reports that she had undergone the treatment despite rapidly losing upwards of 160 lbs. over three years.
Several life changes led to Jones Reynolds’s decision to come forward, she says. The support of her husband, Al Reynolds, was a contributing factor. And therapy led her to feeling more accepting of her body.
“The toughest part of the journey has been forgiving myself for not having the self-control I know I should have had, or admitting I needed help,” she writes about her counseling. Reader letters while she was still on The View also contributed to her decision.
“Every day I am learning to let go of my insecurities and acknowledge that I don’t have all the answers, which is okay,” she writes. Though she still struggles with self-image, she writes that being healthy is what counts. “I’m not saying that in order to be happy, women need to be a certain size, but I am saying that we should all strive to be healthy.”