Attorney, author and television host Star Jones shared her weight loss success story in a live interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on the Today Show on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. Typically, she is one of the regular contributors on the program, and also appears in the ‘Today’s Professionals’ segments with Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Donny Deutsch.
But her appearance on the program was deeply personal this time. In the video profile that began the segment (full replay video is above) she narrated, candidly accessing where she was emotionally and physically prior to 2003, saying, “I was definitely a food addict. My entire adult life I had been overweight. I wasn’t fluffy. I wasn’t full figured. I wasn’t plus-sized. I was morbidly obese.”
She reached a breaking point after her 75 pound weight gain — from 225 pounds to 300 pounds — during the first year that she was a co-host on Barbara Walters’ ABC daytime talk show, ‘The View.’ She realized how unhappiness fueled her overeating, as she described eating Burger King’s double whopper with cheese to which she added extra ketchup, mayonnaise, and cheese (a quick check of nutrition facts shows that the standard sandwich without the extras has 1,061 calories and 68 grams of fat). The toll on her health was worrisome as she described being unable to walk stairs without stopping to catch her breath. She said, “It was my greatest fear that I would die in my apartment by myself after having a stroke or a heart attack. Too big to get to a phone. I made up my mind. whatever it took I was going to lose that weight.”
Star Jones’ before and after weight loss photos in the video reveal just how dramatic her transformation has been. As to why she did not publicly reveal the gastric bypass surgery she underwent in 2003, she said she was “depressed and confused and just really not ready” and that she doesn’t apologize for it. She attributes approximately 80 to 100 pounds lost were directly the result of the surgery, but the rest was through her own efforts; all totaled, she lost around 160 pounds. As to how she maintains the weight loss, she says “It’s green leafy vegetables, high protein diet and get my butt up and get to that gym.”
During the live interview with Matt Lauer, Star Jones addressed the controversy that has risen over her decision to keep her gastric bypass surgery a secret. She said, “I was public with other aspects of my life. I can completely understand that. It really worked for me. It allowed me to get emotionally safe and secure.” She later added that she wasn’t sure she would be successful and that she was concerned about gaining the weight back, as she had never been a weight loss success before. She added, “I needed to forgive myself for being such a smart girl and so stupid when it came to my health.”
Star Jones’ appearance on the program and candid discussion of both the weight loss, and how it contributed to the cardiovascular disease she developed, even years after losing and maintaining the weight loss, is in support of the February Go Red for Women campaign, of which she is actively involved. The campaign promotes awareness of heart disease in women. She underwent open heart surgery in March 2010. She said of it, “That’s why I volunteer with the American Heart Association. I’m alive today because I decided to lose weight and take control of my health.” She also wrote an article for Today, on her efforts to restore her health which you can read in its entirety at Today.com
Star Jones’ longtime passion to educate women and her compelling personal story puts weight loss in its proper perspective; it’s not about looking slender, svelte, or skinny on the red carpet or the beach or on our wedding day, it’s about preserving our health and avoiding preventable disease and mortality. Tragically, this death toll might only escalate among population with such a high percentage of overweight and obesity. And behind the numbers are the human stories, the people we may have known and loved who have been struck down, as well as those who by some means have survived. Former President Bill Clinton too has done much to raise awareness of the detriments of the wrong diet and lifestyle and, with his whole foods plant-based vegan diet to reverse heart disease has brought awareness that even when preventive measures were ignored, there is still a chance to survive.
Let us know what you think of Star Jones’ weight loss success story.
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