Rosie Mercado, a plus-size model who has been in the modeling industry since 2009, recently lost nearly 250 pounds. As she happily explained to TMZ, “And I’m still plus-size, can you believe that?”
Wearing a leather jacket, black turtleneck, dark cat-eye frames, and a round-brim hat, she confessed in a video filmed at the airport that she doesn’t miss anything about being so heavy. “I think I was grateful that I got to be 410 pounds because it taught me a lot of lessons,” she said, noting that she learned humility, how to treat people, never to judge a book by its cover, and persistence.
What may be hard to believe though is that as Mercado began to shed pounds, she started to gain haters. “I think there’s a group of people that resented that I was losing weight because they thought that diet equals being a size 0. 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.
Mercado started to change her diet and exercise routine when she began to experience health and mobility issues, according to People magazine. The other aha moment telling her she must lose weight was when an airline employee said she needed to purchase a second seat to fit on the plane. She cut pasta, soda, and rice from her diet and avoids sugar and goes to boot camp classes and runs and walks for exercise.
Despite the hate, Mercado only has good things to say. “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.”
She also believes that her openness and authenticity throughout her weight loss journey and subsequent tummy tuck and skin removal procedures possibly rubbed some people the wrong way. “But you know what: I’m happy at the end of the day.”
And isn’t that the most important thing?