Kathy Bates Reveals She 'Feels Like a Different Person' After Losing 60 Pounds

Kathy Bates "feels like a different person" since losing about 60 pounds, the American Horror Story star said Tuesday.

"Mindfulness, just knowing when to push my plate away," Bates, 70, told Us Weekly at the WebMD Health Heroes event in New York City. "My niece told me this little secret, I guess it's no secret, it's a biological thing, that at some point when you're eating, you have this involuntary sigh and that's really your brain and your stomach communicating that you've had enough... The trick is to pay attention to that and push your plate away."

Bates said she is also avoiding junk food, soda and other temptations. But the process did not show immediate results.

"It took a few years," the Disjointed star explained. "I would say you have to be really patient … I don't like the word willpower, but I like the word determination."

The work paid off though, and Bates said she wished she changed her habits sooner.

"I have never been in such good health," she told Us Weekly. "I just had a physical. I'm doing great … I feel like a completely different person. I can move, I can walk. I just wish I had done it years ago."

Bates has survived ovarian and breast cancers, and had a double mastectomy in September 2012. She told PEOPLE at the same event Tuesday that she developed lymphedema after surviving cancer.

"I was terrified of getting it," Bates said. "It affects more people than ALS, MS, AIDS and Parkinson's combined. Ten million Americans. But people just don't know about it."

Bates said that some doctors think it is a "cosmetic" condition that is "not life-threatening," so she found a doctor who knew more about the condition through the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN).

"I'm feeling great," she told PEOPLE. "I've lost a lot of weight and it's really helped with my symptoms. I just still have to wear compression sleeves or guard against nicks and bug bites because that can lead to sepsis."

Bates later became the national spokesman for LE&RN, earning WebMD's 2019 Game Changer Award for her work bringing the condition more attention.

According to the Mayo Clinic, lymphedema is swelling in arms or legs that is usually caused by the removal or damage to lymph nodes after cancer treatment.

"I think going through breast and ovarian cancer you feel like you're a burden," Bates explained. "I've lost friends because some friends want to help but don't realize it's a long process. So they sort of drop out. It's a problem. I think families try to do the best they can but it's very difficult to help."

0comments

The Oscar-winner recently appeared in American Horror Story: Apocalypse and plays Amy Farrah Fowler's mother on The Big Bang Theory's final season. She can now be seen on the big screen as activist Dorothy Kenyon in On The Basis of Sex.

Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images