Mama June Shannon opens up on her drastic weight loss
ABC NEWS -
Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and her mom June Shannon -- aka Mama June -- first appeared on "Toddlers and Tiaras" and rose to fame in a flash, but now it's Mama June's new figure that's in the spotlight. ABC News’ Amy Robach sat down with the reality TV star about her new show, her kids and her decision to have gastric sleeve surgery.
"I have a new mom," Alana said. "Well, it's not like a new mom, it's just she has a new body ... It's like they cut off her head and then put it on another body."
WE tv documented Mama June's nearly 300 pound weight loss on their new show "Mama June: From Not to Hot," showing her transformation from a size 24 to a four with the help of gastric sleeve surgery.
Shannon, 37, admitted that before her weight loss she had practically been in hiding.
"I didn't go to the grocery store," she said. "I wasn't able to associate with anybody. I wasn't able to go to her school. I mean, it was -- it was crazy."
Asked when she was last that size, Shannon said she wasn't sure. Then her 11-year-old daughter chimed in, "When she was eight, probably."
Cameras shot even the most intimate moments of June's journey, including doctor consults, which she hopes will show viewers the work it takes to have a permanent solution.
"You don't just go into sleeve surgery and think it is a temporary fix because it is not," she told ABC News. "You have to work almost everyday. I'm not saying I'm the most perfect person because trust me I do eat," she added.
But the diet has nonetheless had to change.
"The food has changed," her daughter said. "Every once in a while she will bring in something unhealthy but mostly the food in our house is healthy," Alana explained.
Shannon had two surgeries just to remove her excess skin. "Nine pounds of skin came off my stomach," she said.
Since undergoing the transformation, Shannon said that people now finally get to see what she always knew she looked like on the inside. "I've never seen myself as a big person even when I was a size 28. I never did," Shannon said. "When this adventure started, I never had a certain goal weight in mind. Never. I never had a goal weight to where I was going to be a certain size at all."
But her number one advocate remains her daughter Alana, who jumped in asserting answers to Robach's questions on her mom's behalf.
"What do you see when you look in the mirror," Robach asked Mama June, to which Alana quickly answered, "She sees the person she has always wanted to be."
The mom and daughter reality TV stars had an abrupt end to their run on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" after TLC cancelled the show amid reports that Shannon was dating a registered sex offender who had served time for reportedly molesting her oldest daughter Anna. June repeatedly denied that relationship and is surprised that issue is one still being discussed after she thought she closed that chapter of her life.
"It is like beating a dead horse," she said in an attempt to clarify the situation. "It kills me that people still talk about that bull s**t today."
The newly slimmed down matriarch said that relationship with her eldest daughter, Anna "Chickadee" Cardwell, still has issues.
June said the "true situation" of their relationship is, "If I'm giving her money, I'm giving her what she wants, she is good. if I'm not, then we can argue."
But Anna told ABC News they in fact have no relationship.
Despite the turbulent relationships with her family, it hasn't stopped Mama June from getting back into the dating pool, but so far without any success.
Alana, on the other hand, has picked up a boyfriend, but even that has it drawbacks she said.
"I texted him this morning and he read it and then he just didn't text me back," the 11-year old said while laughing. "He decided not to text me back."
Mama June piggy-backed off her daughter's dating life and said jokingly, "This is why I don't date."