"Some people stand in the darkness / Afraid to step into the light..."
But, of course, Mama June isn't one of those people. With a newfound confidence, the WE tv reality star slipped into a red swimsuit for a Baywatch-themed photo shoot. Weighing in at 137 lbs., the 37-year-old Georgia native struck a series of poses to show off her slimmer new shape. For comparison, look no further than her original Baywatch-inspired pictorial, shot in July 2015.
E! News has learned June wanted to show off her body in time for summer. She also thought offering a before/after look at the first time she did the shoot would show how far she's come.
She may not actually be a lifeguard, but June went to great lengths to prolong her own life. For months, cameras followed along as she spent over $75,000 to have gastric sleeve surgery, a breast augmentation and skin removal surgery on her "bat wings," stomach and "turkey neck."
June, who once tipped the scales at 460 lbs., weighed 352. lbs at the start of her weight loss journey. By the time Mama June: From Not to Hot ended, she went from a size 18 to a size 4.
After her mom's makeover in the penultimate episode, Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson said she resembled Marilyn Monroe. "She looks great," Alana, 11, gushed. "I'm really proud of her."
In addition to undergoing multiple surgeries, June worked with a nutritionist and a physical trainer to achieve her goals. "I've worked my ass off, working out, getting healthy," she said. "And now I feel like becoming the person on the outside that I always felt like on the inside."
When Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson first laid eyes on his slimmer ex, he yelled, "Holy s--t!" It was the reaction she'd hoped for—or so she thought. "My goal when I first started this weight loss journey was to make Sugar Bear kind of jealous," she confessed. "But it's no longer about revenge." June, also who got a new set of veneers, really wanted to prove something to herself.
June appeared on The Wendy Williams Show in April, where she explained why this was the right path for her. "For me, throughout the years, I've been able to drop the weight," she told host Wendy Williams. "But maintaining it…I guess I became what you call a 'scale whore,' because I was constantly kind of beating myself up...I hate to say it, but Alana kind of started to be like that. I had to back off the scale, because she's been kind of looking [at the scale, too]."
Wendy hopes June will keep off the weight off for good—but if she doesn't, she won't be too surprised. "I am 50-50 with Mama June, and I told her that behind the scenes," the talk show host told E! News in April. "I said, 'Mama June, please work really hard to keep the weight off.'"
"Weight loss is one thing; keeping it off is another. And you really have to change her mindset and your way of life," added Wendy, who spoke from personal experience. "You can go back and have some of those chocolate bars or whatever...but everything has to be in moderation."