Because they’re in the public eye we expect celebrities to share every single moment of their lives with us, even the most private ones. But celebrities are people too and certain topics like struggles with weight, are often to hurtful too share publicly.

Recently Star Jones sat down with TODAY show host Matt Lauer to discuss keeping her dramatic weight loss a secret, discovering she had heart disease, and using her experiences to save the lives of other women.

Nine years ago Star Jones was in our homes every day as co-host of The View. She was also over 300 pounds.

“I wasn’t full-figured. I wasn’t plus-size. I was morbidly obese. I never thought I would be in front of a camera and say those words. I was morbidly obese,” says Star.

Unable to walk up a simple flight of stairs Star decided she needed to lose weight for good and made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery. The surgery was a success and the results noticeable, yet Star decided not to speak about things publicly.

According to Star:

“Emotionally I made the decision not to discuss it publicly. I was depressed and confused and not really ready. And I don’t apologize for it. I know people really want me to say that I wish I would have told everybody. I did it the way I needed to do it. 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 reason I say I don’t regret that is it really worked for me. It allowed me to get emotionally safe and secure.”

After the surgery, Star went from a whopping size 26 to a size 6, but her struggles with health weren’t over. She began feeling shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and light headedness, things she thought were side effects of the surgery, but instead were something more serious.

In 2010 she was diagnosed with heart disease and had to have a surgery to repair a malfunctioning aortic valve and to drain fluid that had been building up around her heart. To Star this was a sign that she needed to warn others about heart disease so she teamed up with the American Heart Association to spread the word.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of women. It beats all the next four causes of death combined. It’s why I volunteer with the American Heart Association. I’m alive today because I decided to lose weight and take control of my health.”

So after all she’s been through what is Star’s advice to other women struggling with their health? It’s simple says Star, “Eat less and move more. It’s what saved my life.”

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