Abby Lee Miller lost over 100 pounds in recent years, completely transforming her body. This dramatic weight loss occurred largely during her time in prison from 2017-2018. So how did the former Dance Moms star shed the pounds and achieve the incredible results that shocked her fans? Let‘s take a comprehensive look at Abby‘s weight loss journey.
The Spark – Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Abby‘s weight loss efforts began when she underwent gastric sleeve surgery in 2015, before starting her prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud. This procedure reduces the size of the stomach, limiting how much someone can eat at one time.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, gastric sleeve surgery on average leads patients to lose 50% to 80% of their excess body weight within 12 to 18 months. Compared to other common weight loss surgeries like gastric bypass, the gastric sleeve:
- Is less complex surgically
- Requires a shorter hospital stay
- Has lower risk of long-term vitamin deficiency
However, it comes with greater risk of leaks from stomach staple lines. Abby was aware of the risks but felt the potential benefits were worth it.
The surgery kickstarted Abby‘s weight loss efforts, though her most dramatic transformation would occur during her time in prison.
Extreme Weight Loss in Prison
Abby‘s stint in prison from 2017 to 2018 played a pivotal part in her weight loss journey. Away from the stresses and temptations of her career, the controlled prison environment enabled her to fully commit to improving her health.
Rather than extreme dieting or bootcamp style workouts, Abby lost around 127 pounds simply by sticking to the prison meal routines and walking frequently around the facility. She cut out junk food and soda, followed the cafeteria meal plans, and stayed active through her daily exercise walking around the grounds.
This drastic change shows that when we remove outside distractions and excuses, dedication and consistency in your routine go a long way. Abby felt prison gave her a chance to press pause and focus on herself in a way she struggled to do in everyday life.
Trimming the Loose Skin
After losing so much weight so rapidly, Abby opted to remove the loose, sagging skin left behind – a common consequence of substantial weight loss. She underwent multiple procedures to tighten and smooth skin on her arms, legs and stomach.
Abby said this skin removal was both for cosmetic reasons and to make her feel more comfortable in her transformed body. The trimming and tightening helped her fully achieve the slim, toned figure she had worked for.
According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, body contouring procedures after major weight loss can:
- Improve your body‘s proportions and aesthetics
- Reduce rashes and skin irritation
- Enhance your self-image and confidence
However, as with any surgery, it comes with risks like bleeding, infections, and reactions to anesthesia. Abby felt the benefits were worth it.
Pressures on Dance Moms
While Abby‘s prison weight loss journey is inspiring, she has been open about the pressures and challenges she faced regarding her weight while filming Dance Moms.
She explained the extreme stress, erratic schedule, and constant scrutiny made it difficult to find time to grocery shop and prepare healthy meals. Exercise also fell by the wayside.
According to Abby, the show‘s producers often pushed unhealthy food options on her too, tempting her with fast food meals between shooting. They seemed to encourage her unhealthy image rather than support efforts to lose weight and get fit.
So while Dance Moms brought her fame, it also enabled bad habits and hurt her efforts to lose weight in the years leading up to prison.
Ongoing Health Struggles
Unfortunately, losing weight didn‘t mean Abby‘s health issues went away. In 2018, only months after being released from prison, she was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma – a rare, aggressive form of blood cancer.
Doctors treated it quickly with chemotherapy and Abby was cancer-free by the end of the year. But in 2019, her cancer returned even more aggressively, partially paralyzing her from spinal tumors. She remains determined in her treatment and recovery, going through ongoing physiotherapy to regain mobility.
This proves that major weight loss alone does not guarantee perfect health. But Abby stays motivated and positive through the hurdles.
Past Weight Loss Efforts
Abby‘s dramatic 100+ pound weight loss during her prison sentence wasn‘t her first attempt to slim down. Fans of Dance Moms will recall she lost around 40 pounds back in 2015, which viewers noticed and commented on.
This initial success proved to Abby that real weight loss requires committed effort and lifestyle changes day in, day out. Her early steps laid the foundation so that when life threw her in prison, she could take those weight loss efforts to the extreme.
Life After Prison
After being released from prison in May 2018, Abby embraced her slim new look and returned to the public eye. She made appearances as herself on TV shows like The Doctors and Dancing with the Stars.
Abby also returned to teaching dance, emphasizing the importance of health and fitness to her students. Despite setbacks like cancer, she remains determined to keep inspiring others with her story.
In an interview with People magazine, Abby explained: "I‘ve been given a second chance at life and I don‘t want to waste it. I have a whole new perspective now."
Key Takeaways from Abby‘s Journey
So what can we learn from Abby Lee Miller‘s impressive weight loss journey?
- Weight loss surgery can provide the initial breakthrough some people need to kickstart their efforts.
- Removing temptations and distractions is key to stay consistent with diet and exercise goals.
- For major weight loss, simple lifestyle changes like walking and meal prepping add up.
- Support systems matter – Abby felt Dance Moms producers enabled her unhealthy choices.
- Don‘t get discouraged by small setbacks – minor weight regain is normal.
- Dramatic results take time – Abby lost 40 pounds in 2015 before her big prison transformation.
- Weight loss doesn‘t guarantee perfect health, as Abby‘s cancer battle proved.
Above all, Abby shows that dedication and believing in yourself can help you overcome major obstacles, whether that‘s 100+ pounds to lose or a cancer diagnosis. She exemplifies pushing forward with positivity no matter what life throws your way.