Below is a summary of American Television Personality Randy Jackson weight loss surgery journey. Take a read. What do you think?

I have tried, over the years, as many diets as there have been American Idol finalists. You name any diet it, and I’ve tried it. After a lifetime of trying every diet on the planet and having them not work, I considered surgery. I had mixed feelings about going under the knife, but then in 2001, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Still the concept of surgery was daunting for my wife, Erika, and me. We both slept very little the night before my surgery. I remember my wife telling me: “You can walk out of here right now and nobody would say anything about it”. I think she was worried about me. In all honesty, I was scared too. Surgery, whether minor or major, is a risk; but in life, you sometimes need to take a chance, and I was determined. I just kept reminding myself “No, I’m gonna go through with it. I’m going to be okay”.

Like many individuals who undergo gastric bypass surgery, I also started to regain weight. It was then and there that I realized how important it was for me to commit to changing my lifestyle. Once I started eating the right foods and developing a proper fitness routine, I was better able to control the regain, and eventually that regained weight disappeared.

For those who are considering gastric bypass surgery, I can tell you now that I have no regrets and my weight loss of 100 pounds demonstrates that surgery has been successful for me. Personally, I do miss eating some of the foods from my hometown in Louisiana, but overall, when I think about the benefits this is having for my health, I know it’s all really worth it.

On this note, I think there are mixed messages about weight loss in our community. Surgery is often viewed as a long-term solution to obesity. I personally believe this to be true BUT ONLY when it is used in conjunction with both exercise and diet strategies. Otherwise, it can be very easy to regain that lost weight, which is common in gastric bypass patients.

Changing my lifestyle wasn’t at all easy. I grew up in the southern United States, where food and good times were king. I had always been an emotional eater too and often found comfort in eating unhealthy food. Changing behaviours that have become a routine in your life is never simple, so change was definitely not a piece of cake. I kept myself from regaining weight by eating fewer processed foods and cutting back on fat and sugar. I would keep strict calorie restrictions, eating no more than 1,000 calories a day. This consisted mostly of protein shakes and vegetables. Of course, exercise was crucial. I would aim to spend one hour or so on cardio every day by spending more time on the treadmill and playing tennis.

What bypass surgery did for me was tell me when to stop eating. I am now much more attuned to knowing when I’ve had enough. I now know that the signal to stop eating comes from your body, not an empty plate. I must admit though, that letting my body tell me when to stop eating didn’t come easy, but with practice I eventually learned how to pay attention to the signs that would tell me that I wasn’t hungry anymore.

For more information on how I felt through it all and all the changes I made in conjunction to having the surgery, you can read a book I wrote: Body with Soul: Slash Sugar, Cut Cholesterol, and Get a Jump on Your Best Health Ever.

The struggle never ends—that’s for sure. But, it has definitely been worth it. I am maintaining the weight that I have lost even now and my blood sugar levels are under control. In the end, it’s my health that has improved, and thus I am very happy to have had this surgery.