Rosie O’Donnell feels fantastic after losing 53 pounds following her July 2013 bariatric weight loss surgery. The 5-foot-7 O’Donnell, who once tipped the scales at 237 pounds, now weighs 184 pounds and can fit into a size medium T-shirt.
While Rosie is happy she’s slimmer, her weight loss was necessary for her health. O’Donnell, 52, decided to get a vertical gastric sleeve surgery in 2012 shortly after suffering a heart attack.
“When you have a heart attack and almost die, it kind of puts things in perspective instantly, and it did for me,” she told Variety. “I was morbidly obese.”
O’Donnell overhauled her lifestyle completely after her weight loss: She stopped drinking alcohol and started meditating 20 minutes a day, twice a day.
Rosie, who was pre-diabetic before her gastric sleeve surgery said she tries to follow a low-carb, sugar-free diet. She admits kicking her sugar addiction remains a daily struggle.
Low carb diets such as the Atkins, Paleo and ketogenic diets fuel rapid weight loss by forcing the body to burn fat fuel in a metabolic state called ketosis, said Dr. Eric Westman, co-author of Keto Clarity.
Before her weight loss surgery, Rosie had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. In gastric sleeve surgery, about 80 percent of the stomach is removed to create a small sleeve-shaped stomach, about the size of a banana. As a result, you get full after three or four bites of food and can no longer eat huge portions.
Took Antidepressants Prozac and Effexor for Depression
Despite her dramatic weight loss, O’Donnell said she still feels big and thinks she may have body dysmorphic disorder. Adjusting to her smaller size will take some time, said O’Donnell, who also revealed her longtime struggle with depression.
Rosie said the 1999 Columbine High School massacre threw her into a deep, debilitating depression. After seeing the horrific news coverage of the senseless tragedy, O’Donnell started taking antidepressants, including Prozac and Effexor.
Rosie said she’s better now and is off the medication but could not have recovered without antidepressants. “I’m pretty much on nothing now,” she said. “I’m calmer.”
O’Donnell previously revealed she suffered from depression as a child and said it runs in her family. Rosie’s aunt suffered from severe depression and attempted suicide before taking lithium.
O’Donnell said her aunt would have benefited from some of the new antidepressants around today. Rosie resisted taking antidepressants for a long time, thinking it was cowardly, but is glad she did because they helped her tremendously.