Emily Simpson is getting real about her weight loss journey.
Following accusations of Ozempic use by fans on social media, The Real Housewives of Orange County star admitted she did use the Type 2 diabetes medication to help "jumpstart" her body transformation after filming season 17—but she also put in a lot of hard work in the gym.
"We finished filming in November," Emily told Us Weekly July 25, "and I remember we filmed the title cards and our showrunner sent a photo of me that he took with his cell phone. And honestly, I didn't even recognize myself. I was like, ‘Who is that?' And then I was like, ‘Oh, that's me.' I really neglected myself those four months that we were filming. I ate too much, drank too much, didn't go to the gym, didn't work out and I felt really down, really depressed, really dark when we finished filming."
During a routine doctor's appointment, the 47-year-old's physician suggested she take a semaglutide drug—like Ozempic or Wegovy—to help curb cravings.
"The doctor was just like, ‘There's this new weight loss drug and it's just been FDA approved and it's great. I think it would really help you lose some weight and you'll feel better and you'll be able to get working out again and feeling more like yourself,'" Emily recounted. "And I was like, ‘OK, sounds great.' I did that in December. It was great for my diet. It really just kickstarted me into eating better and eating healthier 'cause it makes you feel like crap 'cause nothing tastes good."
Though she said her Ozempic use was effective, she also noted it was short-lived. Rather, she credits hitting the gym seven days a week for her new slimmed-down look.
"The thing that bothers me the most is that when people comment on the way that I look, they constantly say, ‘Ozempic, Ozempic,'" she explained. "And it's like, yes, I did use that nine months ago, but I don't like that it discounts all the hard work I put in. At least gimme credit for seven days a week, getting up at 6 a.m. every morning and busting my butt in the gym every single day."
Emily has been candid about her struggles with weight fluctuation. Following knee surgery, the mother of three underwent a major health and wellness journey in 2019. And earlier this year, she shared her decision to undergo lower face/neck lift surgery plus have a breast implant removal and lift procedure after gaining and losing more weight.
"Just a reminder that all women are allowed to choose what they do with their bodies and how they would like to age," she wrote on Instagram in February. "I still work out hard and work out consistently, but once you reach a certain age there are just things you cannot change naturally. I choose a combo approach!"
Keep reading for every celebrity who has weighed in on the Ozempic debate.
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family)