Fans have noticed My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Way Thore has been losing weight via her social media posts. As season 11 of the TLC show premiered on Tuesday, September 5, the reality star denied undergoing surgery and said her beloved mother’s death is behind her new figure.

“I think it’s obvious that I have lost some weight and that is true,” Whitney, 39, told Entertainment Tonight on September 5, adding, “And people say, like, ‘Is it surgery?’ and I’m like, ‘No, it’s grief, but thanks.'” Her mother Barbara “Babs” Thore — who made frequent appearances on MBFFL — died in December 2022 at the age of 76  and her memorial service was featured in the first episode of the new season.

“I see a lot of chatter online and people have asked me, ‘Have you had weight loss surgery?’ or something like that. No I haven’t,” Whitney continued. “On the show, I’ll talk about my weight more, but in my personal life, I don’t really find it necessary to talk about how much I weigh. It’s just not something that I care to focus on and talk about.”

The reality star said she doesn’t judge people who have turned to the diabetes drug Ozempic to lose weight, because life can be “difficult” when heavier.

“I’ve been fat now for 20 years and fat in the public eye. I know how hard it is and I do not ever judge a fat person for doing anything that makes their lives easier. I am not that fat person that’s gonna say, ‘Oh my gosh, why are they on Ozempic? Why are they losing weight? They’re betraying me.’ It’s their body. It has nothing to do with me and it’s hard out here for a blimp,” Whitney explained to the outlet, adding, “It is really difficult to live in bodies like this and there is no judgment from me if somebody wants to take some semaglutide to lose weight.”

In a July 2023 Instagram post, Whitney shared a mirror selfie in a pink crop top and fitted black pants which had fans asking about her transformation. “How much weight have you lost? You look wonderful,” one fan wrote, while another asked, “What’s the plan you followed to lose so much?” One viewer noted, “WHAT HAPPENED??? are you changing the name of your show?”

There was also plenty of speculation about Ozempic use, with one follower commenting, “I’m going have to accept that those drugs like Ozempic work. This transformation is amazing! I just don’t like that you have to stay on it for the rest of your life.”

When viewers first met Whitney in 2015, she was open about her transformation after she first experienced a dramatic weight gain. She put on more than 200 pounds during her first year of college and was later diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

The former dancer wrote in a 2018 since-deleted Instagram throwback photo post, “Most of my adult life consisted of dramatic weight gain, a PCOS diagnosis, self-loathing & a non-stop desire to lose weight and be this girl again — until I realized how insane this was.” She continued, “I know, because I’ve lived it, that thinness does not equal happiness and it does not equal physical or mental health.”