Former plus-size model Rosie Mercado is at the center of yet another controversy, this time for her lack of size!
The model, who once weighed 410 pounds and hips that measured 75 inches, has lost 240 pounds. The impetus for her weight loss came after she was fat-shamed by a flight attendant while boarding a plane. She says the airline employee told her she should buy another seat as she would not fit in just one. While on the flight, Rosie decided, “I needed a change and I needed it quick.”
Rosie assembled a team that included a life coach, a trainer and a nutritionist to make the difficult life change. In the first year she lost 100 pounds, and then got a gastric sleeve, which helped her lose another 140 pounds.
“I felt better than ever,” she says, but her hanging skin was still weighing her down. She underwent a tummy tuck, where 20 pounds of excess skin was removed from her body. Despite her impressive transformation, some of Rosie’s fans have turned on her and sent her hate mail and weight loss-shaming her. One fan even told her she should kill herself because she had lost so much weight.
In a Doctors’ exclusive, Rosie joins the panel in hopes of promoting positive body image and to help inspire others to take control of their lives.
“I had to do this because of me. It was not to please people, or for my career. I did this for me,” she says, explaining that she now has much more freedom in her life. Recently for the first time in her life, she went on a roller coaster and went zip-lining, just two of the many things she was never able to do before losing the weight. She adds, “Do what you want because you want to be happy that’s all that matters.”
Hear more from Rosie and find out what being a plus-size model taught her about life in the video below. Plus, she reveals her secret to maintaining her healthy lifestyle.