In May, Rosie Mercado made headlines when she revealed that she’d lost over 240 pounds. The plus-size model — who’s still proud to be plus size, by the way — spoke out this week. Not only about why she chose to lose the weight (she had been shamed by a flight attendant at 410 pounds) and how important it was for her to stay healthy for her daughter, but also about the real difficulties of losing more than 200 pounds.
While Mercado discussed the oft-neglected side effects of bariatric surgery — the surgery isn’t a magic bullet, it takes a lot of psychological and physical work to keep the weight off — she’s also admitted that some people have been very unhappy with her weight loss, despite the fact that she feels better than ever.
According to Yahoo, Mercado began to receive hate mail at the same time that she started losing the weight. She even told TMZ that she got letters telling her to kill herself.
“I think there’s a group of people that resented that I was losing weight because they thought that diet it equals being a size zero. And diet for me really equaled a lifestyle change, it equaled freedom, it didn’t equal a size,” she said.
Specifically, “fat activists” sent her hate mail. “They told me to go jump off a bridge and kill myself,” she confessed, positing that they might have hated the fact that she was really public about her weight loss, speaking out about it and sharing her progress on social media.
What Mercado says that her haters didn’t understand was that she really was having a hard time living at 410 pounds. Specifically, she was suffering from mobility issues that prevented her from doing all the things she wanted to do. Losing the weight and embracing exercise, however, has given her a new lease on life.
“Everybody loves to be happy in their own way,” she said. “Some people love being overweight, some people don’t. I think it’s a personal choice. There’s good and bad that comes with any life choice and changes so you know you’ve just gotta let it go, not pay attention to the negative remarks.”
The problem with fat shaming is the shaming part, so obviously this “skinny shaming” is equally troubling. If Mercado’s progress pictures rubbed people the wrong way — and she believes they might have — she understands why. But she’s also not going to apologize for them. According to her, the most important thing is being what she thinks of herself. “At the end of the day, I’m happy,” she said.
View this post on Instagram
God always shows me when I'm afraid to let go…. trust in HIM…it's going to be ok! God doesn't turn his back on us, we turn it on him! I praise him and give him the glory and he gives me the strength to go into the unseen, to let go and know that he is taking me to places I would never imagine! #faith #latina