Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson will undergo a non-surgical weight-loss procedure this summer, her manager confirmed to TODAY. The former “Toddlers and Tiaras” star, now 16, told Entertainment Tonight she thinks it would be “the easiest way” to lose weight.
A TODAY Parents writer who had bariatric surgery in 2019 shares her candid thoughts with Alana.
Before I had bariatric surgery, I went years without breaking a sweat. What was the point when the weight always came crashing back? I’d rather watch TV, thanks.
I was always the biggest girl in my class, and the youngest person in the Weight Watchers meeting. I wore cardigans during heat waves to cover my arms. I bailed on job interviews at the last minute because I was self-conscious about my size. I hated eating in front of other people, so I binged at night.
When I underwent a vertical sleeve gastrectomy or VSG, in 2019, I was 40 years old and I weighed 240 pounds. I’m 5 feet, 3 inches tall.
Today, I’m roughly 141 pounds. At my lowest I was 137, but I’ve happily packed on muscle. I’m now that person who hits the gym while on vacation.
Honey (Boo Boo), it takes work. On Wednesday, you told “Entertainment Tonight,” that you’re considering a procedure called a suture sculpt endoscopic sleeve because you don’t “have motivation” to eat healthy or exercise, and that weight loss surgery “would be, like, probably the easiest way to just lose it fast.”
Yes, you’ll lose it fast. Your hunger and cravings are dramatically reduced. With VSG, a portion of my stomach was removed, and I felt satiated after consuming 4 ounces of (healthy!) food. You’ll also notice a reduction in cravings — it’s pretty amazing.
But you’ll likely fail to maintain that weight loss if you don’t make healthy choices most of the time. I eat whatever I want, but I focus on lean proteins because they keep me full, and I drink 64 ounces of water a day. Slider foods — simple, processed carbohydrates — slide right through my new stomach, and don’t fill me up.
“Weight-loss surgery is not a panacea,” Dr. Caroline Apovian, co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told TODAY Parents. “If you consistently overeat, your stomach can get back to its normal size. To be successful, you have to make lifestyle changes.”
That means you’re also going to exercise regularly, including both cardio and strength training, Apovian said.