- (Photo: Reuters/Rose M. Prouser/CNN)
Television personality Star Jones Reynolds has finally opened up about her life-saving gastric bypass surgery and weight loss after keeping it private for so long.
Jones' fans long wondered how "The View" co-host had lost her weight, and were upset that she was not more open about it.
"It really ticked them off," said Jones while on "The Today Show" to Matt Lauer about her fans Wednesday. "Because I was so public with all other aspects of my life I think the audience felt betrayed in some way. And I completely understand that."
The 50-year-old lawyer admitted that she was ashamed she had to rely on surgery in order to get healthy, and that she feared even gastric bypass would not keep the weight off of her.
"I'm not sure I thought I would be successful at it, to be honest with you," she told Lauer. "I thought I'd gain the weight back. I had never been successful at losing weight before. I needed to forgive myself for being such a smart girl and so stupid when it came to something like my health."
In 2003, Jones made the decision to undergo the operation because her weight had climbed over 300 pounds.
"I was morbidly obese," she divulged. "I never thought I would be in front of a camera and say those words. I was morbidly obese."
Jones continued to reveal her darkest fears at the time before her operation, and why she was forced to go under the knife.
"I couldn't walk the stairs, I couldn't walks the airport length without having to stop and catch my breath," said the lawyer. "My greatest fear was that I would die in my apartment alone from a stroke or a heart attack- too big to get to the phone. And I made up my mind that whatever it took, I was gonna lose that weight."
Today, Jones wants women to understand how dangerous extra weight can be. Despite her weight loss, in 2006, Jones was diagnosed with heart disease.
"Heart disease is the number one killer of women," she told Lauer. "It beats all the next four causes of death combined. That why I volunteer with the American Heart Association. I'm alive today because I needed to lose weight and take control of my life."
Now a size eight after having been a size 26, Jones improved her diet and exercises on a regular basis.
Her parting advice with viewers was simple: "Eat less and move more. It's what saved my life."