Jessica Shannon is more confident than ever after losing nearly 50 pounds in just over a month, Mama June’s daughter is EXCLUSIVELY telling HollywoodLife. In March, the 23-year-old revealed the jaw-dropping results of her full body makeover, which cost a total of $80,895. A month earlier, the TV star flew from Georgia to Beverly Hills with her sister Anna Cardwell to have weight loss surgery, liposuction, a tummy tuck, veneers and her hair dyed flame red. Five weeks after those procedures she’s already significantly lighter than the 246 pounds she weighed when she started. And she couldn’t be happier.
“It’s been life changing,” says Jessica. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” For years the reality TV star lacked confidence as she battled obesity. At just 5ft 1 she was struggling to lose weight and feel comfortable in her own skin. “The thing that bothered me the most about myself [was] my stomach,” she says. “I never liked it. I didn’t like how big it was and how it hung… Me and my sister would go out and do something and I would change fix, six times, because I felt like I couldn’t find something that actually looked decent on me, or I turned around because I [thought] somebody was judging me.”
The Mama June: Family Crisis star tried to lose weight on her own by walking and eating more “fruits and veggies,” but she’d lapse into unhealthy habits. Before the surgery Jessica would skip breakfast, have chicken nuggets for lunch and snack on potato chips, washed down with soda throughout the day. Dinner was fried chicken or some other fried food.
When her manager, Gina Rodriguez, suggested that she try weight loss surgery she was hesitant at first. “I had my doubts,” she says, admitting she was “real scared” of having a gastric bypass. “[It] was the fact that they’re taking some of your stomach away,” says Jessica, whose nickname is Chubbs. So, after consulting with Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Michael K. Obeng she decided to get a gastric balloon. (Dr. Obeng’s colleague Dr. Samuel Kashani inserted the balloon, which helps to curb the appetite by shrinking the stomach and limiting the size of its lining.) “I looked into it and I thought it was the…safer way. The one that I felt comfortable with,” Jessica says.
The tummy tuck and liposuction alone helped her shift 15 pounds post-surgery, but the rest of the weight came off simply because she’s getting full more quickly and thus eating less. Now her diet is remarkably different. “It’s usually yogurt or some fruit in the morning. For lunch, it’s a smoothie or soup. Dinner is basically the same,” says Jessica who has tried everything from chicken noodle to vegetable soup. She’s also swapped soda for “tons of water.”
“It’s been a real strict diet and it’s completely different from what I’m used to, but I’m starting to enjoy it,” she says. And Jessica’s definitely loving the results. “I’m more confident in myself,” she says. “I’ll go and wear a tight fitting shirt or something super cute and not have to worry about my stomach bulging out.” She adds, “I really enjoy the way that I’m turning out to be.”