Rosie Mercado is a 36-year-old plus-size model who currently weighs around 170 pounds. Back in 2011, though, her weight was much higher. That’s when Mercado, who weighed 411 pounds at the time, got a harsh wakeup call courtesy of flight attendant who told her she’d need to buy an extra seat if she wanted to remain on the flight she was on.
After the incident, Mercado began losing weight steadily. With diet and exercise, she lost 100 pounds, but getting her body to where she wanted it to be was going to take more than that. While shows like The Biggest Loser make it seem almost easy to lose hundreds of pounds, the reality is that even their contestants struggle keeping the weight off due to how much one’s metabolism slows down after major weight loss. That’s when Mercado decided she needed help. But like Mary Maxwell, another woman who transformed her entire body after her family members died of obesity-related reasons, she soon learned that getting bariatric surgery wasn’t a quick fix.