Star Jones- Today Show CELEBRITIES

Surprise! Is Star Jones Gaining Back The Weight?


Star Jones- Today Show

Yesterday morning I caught a glimpse of the Today show, featuring guest Star Jones on a panel alongside Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Donnie Deutsch.

You doubtless know Star most as the controversial former co-host of The View, who famously ‘lied’ about undergoing gastric bypass surgery after she lost a reported 160 pounds. Only after much media speculation and public pressure did Star cave in and come clean.

Since then Star has hosted her own show on Court TV and appeared on Celebrity Apprentice… but the first thing that jumped out at me on yesterday’s show was that Star was looking somewhat larger than she has in some time. Remember how stick thin Star first looked post surgery…

starjones-thin
Which brings up a point I’ve made here before at Angry Trainer Fitness. Gastric bypass is not a miracle cure for excessive weight gain…

Star Jones is not alone of course. Randy Jackson, Al Roker, Carnie Wilson and Sharon Osbourne are all avowed members of the celebrity weight loss surgery club. But here’s the rub. Gastric bypass is meant to be a life saving, last ditch effort for morbidly obese individuals. And to be clear, morbidly obese is defined as being at death’s door. Were any of the above celebrities really in THAT bad a state? I don’t know the full medical histories of these men and women, but personally, I doubt it.

In case you don’t know what a gastric bypass procedure involves let me offer a refresher. Surgeons literally “bypass” 2/3 or more of your stomach and leave nothing but a pocket sized pouch (about the size of an egg) in its place. How does that help you ask? Simple, you just can’t eat as much as you’ll only be able to fit a few ounces of food in your belly – INITIALLY that is. So immediately after surgery, your daily caloric intake is greatly reduced and you lose weight.

Sometimes recipients of gastric bypass opt for the less invasive Lap Band procedure, where your stomach is tied off with a rubber band. The problem – you can gain all the weight back. In fact, in past seasons of NBC’s hit The Biggest Loser, a few contestants that were near or over 400 pounds had previously undergone gastric surgery!

The reasons for this are quite simple. For starters, the stomach can stretch. So however much your doctor trimmed – it can, and will, expand if you continually try to overeat. And once your stomach regains its size you’ll once again be able to eat more food, take in more calories, and ultimately gain all the weight back. Look at the Carnie Wilson – she’s hardly the poster child for weight loss surgery success – in fact she ended up on Celebrity Fit Club a few years after surgery! And Al Roker has appeared to yo-yo post surgery for years now.

carnie-wilson

But the real issue is deeper. Much deeper. Many people who are obese and over-consume food need help beyond a trainer and a doctor. Generally they have serious emotional issues to deal with and while a drug user or alcoholic may be able to hide their vices, people with food demons literally wear their issues for all to see. And while there are support groups, and (supposedly) pre-surgery requisites, they all fall miserably short. I’ll say it again – there is no quick fix.

Back to Star Jones. For sure she’s had a tough time these past few years with her health. She’s had gastric bypass and two open chest surgeries – and I’m afraid I see her following in the footsteps of so many others, and gaining the weight back. While Star’s weight gain may not be incredibly noticeable, she has gained in my estimate between 10 and 20 pounds.

My issue is this – everyone I see who’s had weight loss surgery looks terrible – unhealthy and malnourished. And that’s probably because they are! I’ve heard reports of some patients eating as little as 800 calories a day, and even Al Roker admitted he was eating only 1,300 calories per day – while working out with a trainer 5 days per week! This is simply not enough nutrition. In order for a diet and exercise plan to be successful, it needs to be realistic. And from what I’ve read about these surgeries and post op nutrition plans, they’re the farthest from real as you can get.

Al-Roker-before-and-after-photos

At the end of the day, this life risking surgery doesn’t do anything that you can’t do yourself. In fact I see gastric bypass as a hindrance, because it takes the responsibility and accountability away from the patient. It’s almost as if someone is rationing food for you, and you simply just can’t eat as much. I view that as a disservice and not a great tool to teach individuals with eating issues how to be healthy and change their lifestyle. But I will say this – if you are at risk of dying from being overweight, then this surgery may be a last chance option. I do understand that.

But to me it seems that more and more people, especially celebrities and the wealthy, are looking to the medical community for shortcuts and a quick fix. And that’s scary. For Star Jones’ sake, I hope she takes a different path and works on being healthy and fit the RIGHT way. I wish her luck…

But what do you think about Gastric Bypass? Have you had it or know someone who did? What were the results? And do you think the process is being over-prescribed?


14 comments on “Surprise! Is Star Jones Gaining Back The Weight?

  1. Hi AT,
    Thank you for addressing this issue in a very straightforward manner. In this society, the need for instant gratification often overrides hardwork and common sense. I am most concerned about the young children who are being subject to gastric bypass. You must have heard about the 17 year old girl who underwent gastric bypass surgery because she just could not bear the taunts anymore. She tipped the scales at 250 pounds before she had the surgery. Here’s a link to the article: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/22244000/ns/today-today_health/t/teenager-opts-surgery-battle-weight/
    What do you think of that? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
    -Lavanya

  2. Well, I have to agree and disagree. .. I have had lap band surgery, and have lost almost 100 pounds in 14 months. THe largest part of that loss ( about 25 pounds) came from the pre op and post op diet in the weeks just before and just after the surgery. I have about 20 more pounds to reach my goal ( 165 at 5:11″).

    I do not look emaciated or unhealthy. Because my surgeon has a nutritionsit on staff that I talk to regularly, my eating habits are now MUCH healthier than before. Also, because of the surgery, I don’t tolerate bread or rice very well, which has also helped with the weight loss.

    Any REPUTABLE surgeon will tell you that the lap band is not a cure all. It is a tool to help remind you to make good choices and smart food decisions. I went with it over gastric bypass because it is adjustable and reversible, so that I can make the choices.

    It’s not for everybody, but those who have had the surgery should not all be lumped together as wanting a quick fix. I work out 5 days a week, by myself and also with a trainer, eat small but healthy portions, and have lost the weight.

    Don’t paint us all with a broad brush !

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  5. You are mistaken when you say that “Surgeons literally remove 2/3 of your stomach and leave nothing but a pocket sized purse in its place. ” No part of the stomach is “removed” is simply redesigned to allow for a 4oz pouch to become your stomach. The remaining 2/3rd remain in tact and still produce gastric fluids which then meet up again in the intestines. So nothing is removed.
    I had GBS in May ’11. So far I have lost 115 pounds. I do not look emaciated and am far from unhealthy. As a matter of fact I had a 6 month checkup yesterday and received a clean bill of health. All numbers and levels were great. I can only speak from my personal experience, but my GBS was well worth it. I no longer have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesteral. It is a tool. What you do with it and how you deal with food afterwards is totally up to the individual. This procedure has allowed me to reprogram my body and mind regarding food. I think it neglegent of you to make broad statements regarding GBS, especially when speaking solely of “stars” and their journeys. Speak to average everyday people who have had their lives save or at the minimum given them a better quality of life because of it. I hiked 10 miles this past weekend. That would have NEVER happened before the surgery. Was it “the easy way out”? Absolutely not. It has been a journey that I would not trade for anything.

  6. I agree. I’ve had issues with my weight and I never thought of surgery. I had to teach myself to make a real change and I’ve had to relearn once what I taught myself as I gained some of the weight back. I know how to eat. It’s doing it that is what has to be done and done consistently. I now have had my weight off for years.

    My husband, on the other hand, is 400 pounds and will do nothing to help himself, even surgery. If he won’t control his eating without surgery, why would anybody think he could or would do it and sustain that habit with the surgery? Common sense and experience tells me that everybody who has a weight issue will gain the weight back if they don’t take care of the deeper issues and change their lifestyles to healthier choices. It’s a lifestyle change, not a quick fix overweight people need. A quick fix is just that and I’ve never known of any quick fix that was mean to last a lifetime.

    They are what they are, quick fixes meant to last a little while so don’t be disappointed when they fail. They’re meant to fail! They were never meant to last. They are akin to tire patches to get us to the tire store for a new tire! If you think you can drive on that patch forever, you’re mistaken. Don’t try it. You wouldn’t take a long trip on a patched tire so why would you try to live a lifetime on a quick fix surgery procedure that teaches you nothing about lifestyle? I do not understand the mentality. Then again, I do. Instant gratification, no pain and you get a body you want for a little while. If it’s worth it to somebody, go for it. Me, I want a life change and a lifestyle change that I can live with and enjoy life doing it. That’s real surgery!

  7. The Author of this article obviously never had a weight issue in his life and can not relate whatsoever with the emotional pain that is caused by such. Star Jones still looks great compared to before her surgery (google it and check out a photo!) Some people gain weight because of medical issues and it’s not always an issue of laziness. And once you gained the weight it’s tough to get rid of it. Try to do a fitness run with 300 lb… Hey angry Fitness trainer! You have no idea. If this is a commercial for your training – it’s not working… It’s ignorant and stupid

    PS: be glad you or a loved one never had an issue like that – otherwise you wouldn’t talk crap like that…

  8. Valerie, have you ever met anyone that had the surgery or read anything about the surgery?
    It is not by any means a “quick fix”. There is a long and very specific journey and requisites that the patients need to follow, multiple pre operatives exam, multiple classes about before, during and after surgery, nutritional classes, psychological evaluations, and etc in other to even be considerate a candidate.
    The ordeal of the surgery itself is far from being a quick fix either: one w eel of liquids, one week of soups, one week of mashed foods and another one of chopped food before you can even think of eaten ” normal” prepared meals.
    You are followed closed by your surgeon, general doctor and nutritionist, and all of them monitor your weight loss, food intake and physical activity. Still think it is a quick fix?
    It is medically proven to ” cure” diabetes, hypertension, and several other weight related diseases. Due to the nature of the surgery, even though the patient is eating small food portions, the patient does not feel hungry: the small stomach gives the signal to the brain that you are full.
    It is very difficult to exercise with a lot of weight, and the heavy patient might even suffer injuries trying to exercise with so much weight. The surgery is a tool, not a miracle. It is a help to learn or relearn health life, not a quick fix. And just for your information, most of the post surgery patients keep the weight off for life. Be glad that you don’t have to lose weight or if you have, it is a small amount. Open your mind and give more support to your husband about his weight, maybe he just needs you and others in general to stop being so judgmental and start to understand that obesity is a serious disease that needs to be addressed, be it by surgery, dieting, psychological treatment or anything that might help.

  9. I am a PT who works closely with a Nutritionist (who has had BOTH lap band and gastric bypass), along with working out 5 -6 days a week for a year afterwards, losing a total of 103 lbs. We agree with several points in this discussion:
    1) Obesity IS a disease, as is food addiction.
    2) Weight-loss surgery IS a lifestyle change so please don’t think it’s not (those of you who are considering getting it). Such surgery FORCES a lifestyle change, assuming the client doesn’t wish to repeat the conditions they were attempting to fix with the surgery.
    3) It is NOT a quick fix! In fact the growing number of post surgery weight gain proves this.
    4) Kelli S: you are spot-on!
    5) Warren you, too make excellent points and good for you for your progress!

    In addition to nutrition, exercise is crucial and seems to be missing from the lifestyle change that follows surgery, particularly from those who regain the weight. Why is this? Surely nutritional advice, psychology and support groups ALONE cannot provide all that is needed to help ensure such a major change.

  10. By your own admission, (1) you have no way of knowing what the state of health was for these individuals and (2) you have a product to push (personal training). Exercise is great, especially for those who like it. For those of us who consider it torture, not so much but a necessary evil. But for the last two+ years, I’ve worked out most every day (I’ve missed a handful of dates in the last years – vacation or crazy tired after a 12+ hour day of work but never less than 5 days a week). For awhile, I was seeing 2 different trainers, 3 times a week. I was never morbidly obese and had no weight related health problems but in the last year, I’ve really lost no weight (take it off, put it back on). So, this overeating you describe, which implies pigging out, was business dinners, vacation dinners, and those ugly holiday meals (although I cut out Thanksgiving completely for the last two years and my Xmas dinner was my office party). Those meals don’t help. And I admit to eating more than I should have, more than I needed. Unfortunately, I say until you walk a mile in my 4’11″ shoes, you can’t completely understand. Eating like a bird, counting every calorie I put in my mouth and not enjoying all of those food center gatherings is not fun. Exercise? I loath it. I want to read a book. I have an extremely sedentary job (if I’m working, I’m sitting in meetings or writing and researching) but I get in five miles a day. I wear a pedometer. When I bought it I didn’t change my walking patterns. I wanted to see what a normal day was for me. A work day, I got in a little over a mile. Pathetic. Now I’m doing 5 miles a day – most days. (I upped my 10,000 steps goal). I don’t burn 1800 calories (according to fitbit) unless I throw in my pilates class. Huh? Support groups? Hate them. Have seen dietitians (3 of them to find someone who didn’t try to make me eat cottage cheese). I’m hungry and unhappy most of the time. The rest of the time, I’m feeling guilty because I’ve exceeded my alloted 1200 calories. And my body (knees, feet, back) aches. Buggers!

    Everything I’ve done, I needed to do. It took me 2 years to lose 40 lbs. But I will always struggle with it and I don’t judge anyone else. If they had the health issues that a doctor would give them a bypass or lapband, and then were unable to keep it off is totally understandable to me. Many of these celebrities you mentioned worked out with trainers, had dietitians and even cooks but there’s something wrong when even with all of these help, they can’t stay on track. And I don’t think it’s because they took a shortcut to thin. We’ve seen people take the long slow route to thin and then turn around and gain it back so you can’t just blame it on the surgery. It’s a reflection of how difficult it is to maintain weight loss.

  11. I came into this late but I want to add some things. I had gastric bypass 11 years ago. There is no doubt I am a food addict and I did the work to understand it. It is not easy and it’s something I have work on and be mindful of every single day. I have lost and maintained a 130 pound loss. I hope I can include a link to show you that not every gastric bypass patient looks the way you stated. My before and after is first but you will see many after pictures where people are very fit. There are also some that haven’t finished losing but are so happy to have gotten their life back that they wanted to share. By the way, I know hundreds and hundreds of people just like the people you’ll see on the link provided. I volunteer almost 24/7 to help others have a positive outcome. I hope you’ll take a moment and look. http://goo.gl/fG4Ad

  12. I am also late to this but wanted to add my two cents. I had my surgery 1/11/01 at 280. I had a rare condition and was going blind. the surgery was suggested as a way for me to avoid a brain shunt. it was so successful that I eventually went off all meds but did end up losing too much weight. I was actually advised to gain 25 lbs. it was hard but I did it. my weight does fluctuate between a twenty lb range but I firmly believe in the lifestyle change aspect of it. my uncle had the surgery after I did & he stubbornly refused to get with the program,fail. my mother also had it but didn’t get mental help. when she started to gain she fell into the cycle of self hatred ,way,gain,hate that got her there. she is up but not excessively.
    the point is that this is NOT a quick or easy process & I do hate when people say that. however, it MUST be a lifestyle change & you MUST come to accept that or it will fail. it does save lives and it saved my brain & eyesight. it allowed me to be the mom & wife I wanted to be and a chance to break the obesity cycle with my kids. they are both teens, normal,healthy weights (and always have been) and don’t have the body issues the family has. we got them into sports at a young age & they love it,something missing from the rest of my obese family. I’m almost 39 now and am looking forward to a long,healthy life thanks to my surgery AND embracing a healthier lifestyle

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