'The View's' Rosie O'Donnell Reveals the Downsides of Her 50-Pound Weight Loss

The weight loss comes with "a lot of emotional turbulence," O'Donnell says.

ByMichael Rothman
September 16, 2014, 6:00 AM

— -- Rosie O'Donnell is back hosting "The View" after more than seven years since she left the show following the 2007 season.

On Monday's season premiere, O'Donnell was all jokes with the rest of the panel -- Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace -- and even kidding with the crowd between commercial breaks. You could just see the excitement on the host's face during the show.

O'Donnell, 52, is also 50-plus pounds lighter and a happily married woman. O'Donnell tied the knot for the second time to Michelle Rounds in 2012 and recently adopted a baby girl Dakota, in addition to her other children from her first marriage.

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"I feel good. I wouldn't have said yes to coming back if I didn't," she told ABC News backstage after the show. "They asked me a year ago, 'Would you consider [coming back]?' ... The concept of being able to do this show in a way that celebrates and elevates women is hard for me to resist."

O'Donnell had a procedure known as a vertical gastric sleeve, which she said has less complications that gastric bypass. Now, O'Donnell can't eat as much and doesn't want to, but getting used to her new body isn't all positive, she said.

"The fact that I look so different has been difficult and unexpected," she said. "Everyone assumes that obese people would just be jumping for joy that they were healthier and thinner and able to fit into store-bought sizes, we don't have to go to the plus store. But it's also filled with a lot of emotional turbulence, you wouldn't expect."

O'Donnell added that she is addressing the change in the right ways and getting support from other people in similar situations.

"I have a group that I go to, where women talk about how they feel," she said. "A lot of marriages break up once one person gets healthy. Luckily, my wife is very healthy, always been healthy, loves me and encourages me to be healthy."

In fact, O'Donnell's health -- especially after a heart attack at 50 years old -- is something her wife makes her take seriously.

"When we decided to get married, she said, 'But I want 40 more years and I don't want you to die on me, so you need to do something for your health,'" she added.

But O'Donnell didn't take her wife's request seriously until Rounds got cancer.

"The stress of that as well as being as big as I was, as well as being so depleted in every way, I had a massive heart attack," she said of the 2012 scare that almost took her life. "So, since then, I can't ignore it anymore. It's not like I don't want the cupcake that I saw, I just know that that's not a good choice."

O'Donnell also touched on how she "wasn't in the best place" last time she hosted the show, since she was going through a divorce from ex Kelli Carpenter in 2007.

"When you are getting a divorce and you have children involved and you are two people who are intelligent and love your children and each other and know it's not going to work, it takes a long time," she explained. "So, I was in the midst of that and wasn't in the best place. Now Kelli is happily married. ... I'm happily married, I have a new baby, which for me is better than any Prozac."

The host, who was welcomed back to the show via a standing ovation on Monday, said her baby has only kept her up two nights in the past year and a half, which worries O'Donnell, because her wife thinks that's normal.

"She keeps going, 'We should have another one!'" she said, laughing. "So, I'm happy, I'm in a good place."

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