If there’s a 2017 Celebrity Weight Loss Hall Of Fame, Mama June just became a contender by going from tipping the scale at 460 pounds to slipping sleekly into a size four. Fans (and skeptics) will get the skinny on Honey Boo Boo’s mother’s transformation in a new reality TV show. But even before the first episode, all the details on just how the weight loss winner took off the pounds have been unveiled.
Mama June’s daughters Honey Boo Boo and Pumpkin talked with ET about how their mom transformed her body so dramatically, and it’s a combination of several surgeries, lots of work, and a mental redo as well.
Honey Boo Boo, 11, and Pumpkin, 17, dished up the details of their mother’s extreme weight loss. The co-stars of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo got help from their mother’s show trainer, Kenya Crooks, in explaining what happened on June’s journey to her weight loss goal, all of which will be told on her new WE tv docu-dramedy, Mama June: From Not to Hot, debuting Friday.
Pumpkin clarified why and when her mother had the weight loss procedure known as a gastric sleeve, explaining that she had been struggling to lose weight.
“She had gastric sleeve back in May of 2015…the reason she got the gastric sleeve was because she hit a plateau — she couldn’t lose any weight.”
The procedure, which reduces the size of the patient’s stomach, wasn’t the end of the journey, however. Pumpkin revealed that June hit a point where the trainer “had to step in because she hit another plateau with the gastric sleeve, and wasn’t losing any more weight.”
In addition to working with the trainer after undergoing the weight loss surgery, the 37-year-old reality TV star underwent more surgery to remove excess skin resulting from her extreme weight loss. Pumpkin was candid about the reason for that procedure.
“Her stomach started looking gross. It was hanging from where she lost so much weight, and her arms and her chin, so she got [the skin on] her stomach removed.”
The mother of four later got surgery on her breasts.
“She got her boobies done,” Pumpkin added. “She got them from a 44 long to 36 up.”
Although Mama June successfully went from a starting point of 460 pounds to a sleek size four, Pumpkin revealed that her mother continues to battle her body image.
“She still thinks of herself as a bigger person..she looked in the mirror and was like, ‘I’m still fat.'”
Personal trainer Kenya Crooks provided insights on why the weight loss winner isn’t able to recognize how slim she has become.
“That’s what she’s used to doing, and when you’re a bigger person, that’s how you disguise all of that — through wearing bigger clothes,” Crooks clarified. “So, now, we’re having to transform her mind even more so… because she has curves now, she looks awesome.”
Honey Boo Boo admitted that she initially didn’t want her mother to undergo weight loss surgery. She was concerned about the risks. Now, however, she’s feeling positive about the transformation.
“I kind of didn’t want her to do it before, but after she did it, I’m very happy,” said Honey Boo Boo.
When it comes to the details of how Mama June lost all that weight, the gastric sleeve procedure, also referred to as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a common choice for bariatric surgery, reported Women’s Health.
This procedure constitutes 50 to 60 percent of all weight-loss surgeries, said Peter LePort, M.D., bariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Center for Obesity at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
The surgeon explained that the weight loss operation removes approximately 80 percent of the patient’s stomach. It then takes what’s left and shapes it into what resembles a sleeve.
“It works by reducing the volume of food that can be held in the stomach.”
In addition, the weight loss procedure “removes significant portions of the stomach that have hormones that promote hunger, including ghrelin,” according to Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., M.P.H., an instructor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The removal of those sections of the stomach causes the brain to communicate with the stomach in a different way, clarified Stanford. Patients typically don’t feel as hungry and tend to feel full faster, resulting in the type of weight loss success experienced by Mama June.
Following the surgery, the typical patient loses 60 to 80 percent of excess weight. And beyond the weight loss success, the surgery can help with diabetes and hypertension, according to LePort.
However, Stanford emphasizes that gastric sleeve weight loss surgery should not be viewed as a quick fix. She recognizes that some patients feel as if they have failed if their physician recommends weight loss surgery, but instead urges that it be viewed as a weight loss tool.
“This is just another tool that some people need to achieve a healthy weight.”
And there’s also more than surgery involved in helping Mama June go from 460 pounds to size 4. Celebrity trainer Kenya Crooks told ET that at first it was a struggle getting the reality TV star to exercise. But then Crooks found out what she could do, and built on those successes.
“We’ve done a lot of weight training, we’ve done a lot of plyometrics, doing a lot of running, but, you know, it’s all about pressing past yourself, and that’s what we’ve been able to do — help her press past herself,” added Crooks.
Dieting also was a struggle. Honey Boo Boo and Pumpkin revealed that sweet treats, particularly Little Debbie cakes (the sisters call them “fat cakes”) were a challenge when it came to eliminating them from their mother’s diet.
“She went to Dollar General and bought like five boxes of those things,” Honey Boo Boo revealed.
Crooks admitted that Mama June was “not supposed to be eating what… she was eating.” That meant a lesson on how weight loss surgery requires monitoring portions.
“You have to understand that when you have those types of surgeries, you can’t eat large. You really have to monitor the sizes.”
In addition, the personal trainer revealed what is on the diet, such as “small portions of lean meats, fruit and vegetables.” As for that beloved Little Debbie cake, Pumpkin revealed that her mother “can’t eat that much of it,” pointing out that the gastric sleeve reduces the size of the stomach. At this point, Crooks is seeking to help Mama June maintain her weight..
“I think that the most important thing that she has to understand is, yes, you can blow back up, and what you don’t want to do is basically take a vacation from yourself,” summed up the personal trainer.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for WE tv]