RHOC's Emily Simpson Reveals Weight Loss and Plans to Remove Implants: 'It's Been a Journey'
The Real Housewives of Orange County star got candid about her weight loss journey in a lengthy Instagram post
In a lengthy Instagram post, the 44-year-old Real Housewives of Orange County star reflected on her journey of "ups and downs" to get to a point in her life where she is both confident in herself and feeling more healthy than ever.
Sharing an image of herself working out, Simpson began her caption, "It’s been a JOURNEY to get to this point right here. Ups and downs. Gains and losses."
"Currently 16 pounds down. Body fat percentage 10 percent lower than last year. And no longer categorized as 'obese,' " she added. "There’s no right way to start. There’s no magic plan or magic pill. You just have to dig deep and make yourself a priority."
Revealing that the first step in her fitness plan was to contact weight loss coach Paulina Taylor Hefferan and ask for help, Simpson explained, "Sometimes we become too overwhelmed with life, kids, depression, weight gain, hormones, relationships, illness etc ... but you have to start somewhere. Make today that day. A year from now will pass by regardless. Might as well make it your healthiest yet 🙌🏻."
"I have more work to do to get to my ultimate goal," she added, "But I’m enjoying the journey and relishing in the successes."
The mother of five then revealed in her post that her hair extensions have been taken out and next up will be her implants.
"I feel lighter. Free. And Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to share the “Before” photo with you all ... until then make YOU a priority ❤️❤️," she concluded.
Simpson's fellow RHOC castmate Kelly Dodd commented on her post, writing, "Good job!❤️ Proud of you 💋," as Real Housewives of Dallas star Kameron Westcott, wrote, "You look amazing girl!! 🙆🏼♀️🙆🏼♀️🙆🏼♀️"
The Ohio native has been open about her weight loss goals in the past, even documenting and reflecting on her journey with Hefferan a year after they began working together.
In a June Instagram post, Simpson wrote that working with Hefferan was, "the best decision I’ve made for myself," before she added, "Not only have I lost significant body fat and several inches, but I’ve gained a newfound [sic] acceptance of my body."
She continued, "I don’t weigh myself very often because the number on the scale doesn’t define me as a person nor is it wholly indicative of progress." Instead, Simpson explained, she measures her progress and health by other means "such as endurance, strength, how many times I can walk up the Salt Creek Hill in one day and how I look in my clothes."
In addition to the changes in her appearance, Simpson added, "Most importantly I’ve changed mentally."
"I’ve learned that weight loss doesn’t have to be all in or nothing, you just have to do 1 thing better than the day before. The key to long term results is consistency and having someone in your corner cheering you on!"
RELATED VIDEO: Emily Simpson Says She Represents 'More of the Average Woman' Than the Typical Housewife
But even throughout her weight loss journey, Simpson has had to deal with trolls and "vicious jerks" who comment on her appearance.
Earlier in 2018, Simpson wrote, "It’s never ok to call a woman fat, fatass, plus-size, etc." in a social media message after she joined the hit reality series.
She added: "I will take the criticism and be the voice for all the women out there that feel inadequate because they don’t fit someone’s ridiculous standard of beauty. Be strong. Be proud. Be confident. I got you."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories
Back in July 2019, Simpson pulled out the receipts after commentators on social media accused her of photoshopping "50 lbs." off of her promotional photo for the Bravo show’s 14th season.
Posting to Instagram, Simpson slammed her body shamers and shared a behind-the-scenes photo from the shoot to prove that there was no editing going on.
"I’m not sure if you all know this but I’m a woman, I have curves and they are frikin’ hot and amazing," she wrote.