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5 Celebrities Who Have Benefited From Weight Loss Surgery

American Idol judge RANDY JACKSON

Celebrities struggle with their weight too. Thankfully, many who have undergone weight loss surgery have opened up about it, to serve as examples on how surgery and lifestyle changes can make things a whole lot better.

Randy Jackson

The longtime American Idol judge lost over 100 pounds after being diagnosed with diabetes, thanks to gastric bypass.

Jackson was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes in 2003. He was at his heaviest, eating poorly and not exercising. He underwent gastric bypass surgery shortly after the diagnosis, and immediately afterwards changed his lifestyle completely. He worked with doctors to lower and stabilize his blood sugar, and increase his probable lifespan.

Jackson tried diets but explained, “Those diets don’t work for people who have the disease of obesity.” Even after his surgery, he began gaining weight again, which is when he put the treadmill next to his bed, upped the veggies and cut the bread and rice.

Rex Ryan

The coach of the New York Jets lost over 100 pounds, and now weighs less than backup quarterback Tim Tebow.

In 2009, Ryan weighed around 350 lbs. Then he underwent Lap Band surgery, and three years later has shrunk to 240 lbs. He says that he was mortified by his weight, leading to the decision to undergo Lap Band. Now, his waistline has shrunk from a 48 to a 38. He admits that he still eats pretty recklessly, except that “If I want pizza, instead of eating a whole pizza like I used to, I'll eat a slice of pizza, if even that.”

He has also talked about his drastically diminished appetite since the surgery, and how nice it is to split an entrée with his wife at a restaurant and be satisfied.

Al Roker

The weatherman for the Today Show was never bashful about his weight, but still lost over 100 lbs after undergoing gastric bypass in 2002.

He has described the necessity of weight loss surgery for many obese people as the following, “If you have a weight problem, it's lack of willpower: 'Just push away from the table, tubby, and you'd lose that weight.’ But you can stop drinking, you can stop sticking a needle in your arm. You cannot not eat.”

Because of these perceptions and realities, he was reticent to admit how he had lost all that weight at first, for fear that the surgery would fail and he’d gain it all back. He credits the surgery, but also acknowledges that he has overcome his hatred of exercise and even ran in the New York Marathon.

Roseanne Barr

The star of the early 1990s show Roseanne has shed nearly 200 pounds since her peak weight, in the fifteen years since undergoing weight loss surgery. In 1998 she underwent the then-new Fobi Pouch procedure, which differs from standard gastric bypass in that instead of stapling the stomach, it replaces the stomach with a synthetic pouch.

She has been quick to admit that the weight loss is totally on the surgery, and that she had fought for years to shed pounds with no success. Hers was a revolutionary Hollywood procedure, because until very recently, gastric bypass was less safe and also far more taboo. Her decision in the late 90's helped bring weight loss surgery to the public eye.

Star Jones

The co-host of The View dropped 160 pounds in three years, thanks to the gastric bypass surgery she underwent in 2003. For years she hid the surgery, insecure and terrified that it would fail and she would gain it all back. She finally went public about the surgery in 2007, to the bemusement of her fans, who felt betrayed since she was so open about the other parts of her personal life.

She dropped from a size 26 to a size 6, but still had heart trouble that culminated in a lifesaving heart operation in 2010. She has since redoubled her efforts to spread the word to women: “Eat less and move more.”

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