Christy Gibel has had a long and difficult journey when it comes to her weight, but undergoing gastric sleeve surgery last year has flipped the script for the Little Women: LA star.
In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com ahead of Thursday's episode of the Lifetime show (produced by Kinetic Content), Gibel gushed over the life-changing procedure she initially was unsure about getting.
"The gastric sleeve surgery absolutely saved my life," she said. "Not only did it make me feel better physically, but the mental change, the mental clarity was worth every penny."
Losing more than 80 lbs. with the surgery, in combination with diet and exercise, Gibel has a new lease on life, she added.
"Getting to this way, I'm like, I have so much energy now," she told PopCulture.com. "I feel like I'm in my 20s all over again. It's like I've been given a chance in life again. I was feeling so down and so gross, it's so disgusting, it's so foggy. I just was so unhappy with myself and now I have so much confidence and energy. The energy is just the best part of it."
Having to sit out activities like horseback riding with her co-stars last season was a bit of a wakeup call, she explained, but this season is a whole different ballgame.
"It was sad, because last season I couldn't do that many activities," she told PopCulture.com. "And this season, heck, I'm signing up for every single activity! I want to do them all."
Getting healthier has even improved her relationship with husband Todd, who was the first in the family to undergo the surgery. While the two admittedly had "struggles" in last year's season, Gibel said the two are making significant progress.
"This season, you know, we're working on it," she explained. "No relationship is perfect, but we are definitely working on a relationship with better boundaries. And I think since I'm a happier person, it's making the house happier and I'm making healthier ... foods for everybody. So it just kind of like, it's a family diet. It's not just me."
Little Women: LA (produced by Kinetic Content) airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Photo credit: Lifetime