Looking back at the way she used to look and feel brings former Food Network star Gina Neely to tears.
The chef and restaurateur is one of the stars of a new food series via The Dr. Oz Show called “The Dish On Oz.” She joins actress Vanessa Williams, Gail Simmons, Jamika Pessoa and Daphne Oz to show people how to make quick, healthy and delicious meals that only require five ingredients. The women will join Dr. Oz each week to share these dishes.
During a part of the series airing on Wednesday, Gina creates a “slim down salmon recipe” and opens up about her weight-loss journey with Dr. Oz. He shows a side-by-side photo of Gina at a heavier size, during her marriage to ex-husband Pat Neely, as well as an image of herself after her weight loss, today. Looking at the differences, she could only say, “Wow.”
“So, Gina when you look at that picture on the left there what do you see?” he asked. “What’s going through your mind? How’s that woman different from the woman standing next to me right now?”
“Gosh you know, just looking at it, it kind of reminds me of sadness really,” she said. “Overwhelmness.”
When Dr. Oz asked her why she was feeling sad at the time, she said it was because of the emotional changes and uncertainty she was going through, which would eventually turn into physical changes.
“Just the transition I was in and going through,” she said. “And then to see this person is sort of like, it’s okay to feel like you can come out of anything and get through it and just embrace it.”
Speaking of embraces, Dr. Oz hugged Gina because she got choked up.
Gina filed for divorce from Pat in 2014, citing irreconcilable differences after more than 20 years of marriage. She started to slim down prior to the divorce filing because exercise helped her practice self-care while on an emotional roller coaster in her marriage. At one point, she lost so much weight she was a size 0.
“I actually started this journey at 45. I said I was not going to take my weight into 50,” she told the Indianapolis Star. “I had already been in this lifestyle, but what really triggered it for me was that I just wanted to feel better, have more energy, and, actually, when I started going through all of these emotional endurances, working out was so good to sort of redirect that energy.”
It also helped that she learned to eat the right way.
“Love the food, but find your balance,” she said a few years ago. “Eat the right way and put the work in to keep healthy. You can enjoy eating and still be fit if you do it right – I’m proof of that!”
Hit the flip to see photos of Gina’s transformation over the years: