“I noticed when I went to Nigeria last time I was just putting on weight … I said, ‘I’m getting bigger or swollen.’ I mean, I think I gained 20, almost 25 pounds,” the TLC personality, 55, told Us Weekly exclusively as she detailed her path to a slimmer figure. “It just hit me all at once. … I couldn’t even walk in the grocery store with the kids to get groceries. I was out of breath.”
Deem said that her smoking habit also contributed to her struggles pre-surgery. However, she “really thought that [she] would die” if she didn’t make a decision about her weight. “I started realizing I needed something done,” she explained.
The Georgia native did her research and was convinced that a gastric sleeve procedure would be her best option — but that wasn’t the only reason she went under the knife.
“I decided to do breast surgery while I’m there. [A] reduction. Everybody’s like, ‘What?’ I’m like, ‘Why not?’” she told Us. “And then what about liposuction? … I said, ‘Let’s do it! Let’s do it all in one day.’”
The reality TV star appeared on season 2 of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days with her husband, Michael Ilesanmi. Angela has two daughters from a previous relationship, Scottie Deem and Skyla Deem. As they watched her begin her health journey, Scottie and Skyla warned their mom not to “do all those surgeries in one day,” but Angela was determined.
“I’m going to do everything I can while I’m there, and I’m strong, and I’m going to be all right. I said, ‘This is something I need to do,’” Angela recalled, noting that she’s dropped “maybe 85 to 90 pounds” thanks to the operations. “The bad thing was during the surgery … they found, you know, hernias and stuff. So, I actually had five surgeries in one day. I was under anesthesia for, like, six hours.”
Recovering from her August 2020 hospital stay hasn’t been easy. For Angela, “the first three months” after her surgeries were the “hardest months of [her] life.” Not only was there stress put on her body, but the grandmother of six also experienced “an emotional toll” post-op. However, the results were worth all the ups and downs.
“There’s benefits behind doing it for myself because it also benefits the grandkids being around me longer and [Michael] and I being together longer,” she explained. “I did it for myself to stay alive … and [to] benefit the ones I love.”
Catch Angela on the new season of 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? airing on TLC April 25 at 8 p.m. ET and on the latest episode of 90 Day Bares All, streaming on Discovery+.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi