While Mama June seemed to shed the pounds rather quickly, the transformation didn’t happen overnight. The reality star has been working on getting healthy and fit for years, suffering numerous setbacks and facing many obstacles.
For a better appreciation of Mama June’s long, arduous battle for a fit physique, we’ve compiled a comprehensive timeline of her weight loss transformation.
August 8, 2012 — Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Debuts
While the world was first introduced to Mama June and her daughter, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, on the TLC reality series Toddlers in Tiaras, the family was really thrust into the spotlight — and the public consciousness — when their spin-off series debuted in the summer of 2012.
The show followed Mama June’s day-to-day activities as the mother of Honey Boo Boo and her three sisters — Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon, Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, and Anna “Chickadee” Shannon — as well as her relationship with boyfriend Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson — who is the father of Honey Boo Boo. The show aired for four seasons before it was cancelled.
(For a comprehensive primer on Mama June’s extensive family, check out our breakdown of the Honey Boo Boo family tree.)
September 2014 — Mama June and Sugar Bear Call It Quits
EXCLUSIVE: Mama June Heads to Show Ex Sugar Bear Her New Body on ‘From Not to Hot’
Though the pair took part in a commitment ceremony on an episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, one month after the final episode of the reality show aired on TLC, the network released a statement on behalf of Mama June and Sugar Bear announcing that they had decided to “take some time apart to figure out some things.”
Mama June would later cite her split from her longtime boyfriend as the catalyst for her weight loss transformation. Speaking with ET earlier this week, the reality star shared, “I wanted to also show Sugar Bear… He really made me feel like s**t [and] I wanted to show him, ‘Hey, I can do [whatever] I want to do’… I wanted to show him, like, I am actually worth it.”
July 2015 — Mama June’s Weight Loss Journey Begins
Mama June first made headlines when she lost 60 pounds after committing to the idea of getting healthy and beginning work with a celebrity trainer. To showcase her weight loss, she hit beach in Panama City, Florida, decked out in a bright red Baywatch-inspired one-piece swimsuit.
November 2015 — Mama Junes Makes Some Big Strides
Mama June started shedding pounds following the conclusion of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and by the end of 2015, the reality star had dropped from a size 28 to a size 16.
Speaking with In Touch at the time, Mama June opened up about how she lost the pounds, explaining, “Honestly, when I first started losing weight, it was just being more active, being busy with the show and doing more things with Here Comes Honey Boo Boo… I’m just walking through the neighborhood three miles a day, and just keeping up with that and just keeping up with the kids and just kind of being on the go all the time.”
December 2015 — Mama June and Sugar Bear Go to Boot Camp
After Mama June began losing weight, she and Sugar Bear tried reconnecting — allegedly in an effort to save their relationship — for the WE tv reality series Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. Their season premiered in December 2015, and after it ended, the pair didn’t stay together.
May 2016 — Mama June Turns to Surgery for Help
After working out and exercising for months, Mama June eventually hit a wall, and turned to surgical options to help her shed the pounds she was still struggling to lose.
EXCLUSIVE: Meet the Man Who’s Whipping Mama June Into Shape!
Last month, Honey Boo Boo and Pumpkin sat down with ET to dish on their mom’s various procedures — beginning with a gastric sleeve in May 2016.
“The reason she got the gastric sleeve was because she hit a plateau — she couldn’t lose any weight,” Pumpkin explained. “And then it came to a point where [the trainer] had to step in because she hit another plateau with the gastric sleeve, and wasn’t losing any more weight.”
August 2016 — The World Gets a First Look at Mama June’s Dramatic Transformation
After losing “about 150 pounds in a year,” Mama June turned to doctors Terry Dubrow and Paul Nassif from E!’s Botched for help removing excess skin, a result of her rapid weight loss, and a build-up of scar tissue from her four C-sections.
The reality star recently revealed to ET the true extent of how much excess skin she had to have removed. “It was nine pounds on my stomach, and a pound apiece on my arms, and then maybe a half a pound of my neck,” she shared.
Around the time her episode of Botched aired, Mama June shared a number of photos on Twitter and Instagram, showing off how different she looked. She even snapped a beaming selfie with ET’s Kevin Frazier.
November – December 2016 — Here Come All the Other Surgeries
Following her excess skin removal, Mama June went under the knife yet again for a breast lift and tummy tuck in November 2016, followed by operations on her arms, her neck and her chin in December. All the while, the WE tv cameras were rolling, documenting her various procedures for a new reality show, Mama June: From Not to Hot.
Mama June said the hefty price tag for all of her various operations and procedures was “well over $50,000,” and she’s adamant that she footed the bill herself.
“I had to pay for the surgical [procedure], the equipment, the building, you have to pay for the doctor visits, you have to pay for the medication, so it’s not cheap at all,” she told ET adding that she’s “very happy” to have paid the exorbitant price, because “I got what I wanted.”
January 22, 2017 — Sugar Bear Gets Remarried
As seen on Mama June: From Not to Hot, Sugar Bear tied the knot with his fiancée, Jennifer Lamb earlier this year. Sugar Bear invited Mama June to the ceremony — despite his bride’s vocal protests — and she shocked her ex with her dramatic transformation at his own wedding. Mama June later described the event to ET as “awkward.”
January 25, 2017 — Mama June: From Not to Hot Releases First Promo
Mama June’s Plastic Surgeries by the Numbers
The world got their first glimpse at the reality star’s much slimmer figure when WE tv released the first teaser for the docuseries in January 2017.During some of the early promos, fans learned the true extent of Mama June’s weight loss, and how she went from 460 pounds down to a size 4.
February 24, 2017 – From Not to Hot Premieres
Mama June’s new docuseries premiered on WE tv in February 2017, touting the reality star’s jaw-dropping journey as nothing short of a miracle.
“In the past year, we have seen the impossible become possible,” a booming voice-over narration intoned during the first episode, citing the Chicago Cubs’ World Series win and Donald Trump’s presidential victory. “But can Mama June actually be a size 4?”
March 16, 2017 — Chickadee Slams Her Mom’s Motivations
Mama June’s estranged daughter spoke out to E! News in March about how she feels her mom underwent surgery “just to be more famous.”
“I don’t think she did it just for her because she never mentioned anything ever before about getting plastic surgery,” Anna explained. “I don’t think she did it or anything for herself. If she would have done it for herself, she would have tried to lose the weight a long time ago.”
March 31, 2017 — Mama June’s Full Transformation is Finally Revealed
The reality star showed off her new, shockingly skinny physique on the penultimate episode of From Not to Hot, which finally showed the end result of her surgeries.
To keep her new look a secret, Mama June had to remain in hiding for months leading up to the big reveal. However, that proved to be easier said than done, according to Pumpkin, who told ET, “It is very hard because Mama, she is a very stubborn person, and she wants to do everything. She’s like, ‘All right, I’ve got to go to the store,’ and we’re like, ‘Mama, no, you need to stay in the house because if somebody gets a picture with you…'”
April 2, 2017 — Mama June Spotted For the First Time Since Weight Loss Reveal
Two days after the big reveal, Mama June was photographed in public for the first time since showing off her transformation, returning to her home in Georgia on Sunday. Decked out in exercise tights, sneakers and a maroon hoodie, she looked nearly unrecognizable.
April 4, 2017 – Mama June Sits Down With ET to Talk About Her New Lease on Life
Mama June sat down with ET’s Jennifer Peros on Tuesday, and opened up about every aspect of her journey, admitting that she feels like a different person in her new body.
“I mean, sometimes I do feel a little bit tired at times, but for the most part, I feel really good,” she notes. “I’m able to get around more, I’m able to do more and stuff like that, so for me, it’s got its advantages and its disadvantages.”
Mama June also opened up about her current relationship with Sugar Bear, and admitted that — while their split might have been the original motivation for her to get in shape — she now doesn’t care what he thinks about her new look.
She also swore that she’s committed to working hard to maintain her new weight, and said she never wants to fall back into the unhealthy habits that lead to her unhealthy weight in the first place.
“I will never go back to what I look like… I will do whatever it takes,” Mama June said, although she stressed that she never wants to undergo cosmetic surgery again.
Mama June: From Not to Hot airs its season finale Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WE tv.