Joseph Marzullo / WENN 1 / 9
Joseph Marzullo / WENN 1 / 9

Rosie O'Donnell has dropped down to 176 pounds over the course of the past two years after reaching a high of 240 pounds, People magazine reports.

In 2013, the comedienne underwent vertical gastric sleeve surgery, which helps curb appetite, and now her journey to a healthier lifestyle is becoming easier by the day.

"Believe it or not, that surgery changed my life," she reportedly told People magazine at a gala for her Rosie's Theater Kids organization in New York City on Nov. 2. "It doesn't reroute your intestines. You have no issue with going to the bathroom in public. But your relationship with food ends."

The former "View" panelist also opened up about why the time between Halloween and Christmas was especially difficult for her in years past: "It used to be on Halloween, the week before, I would start sweating until Christmas, because I had huge problems not going and stealing [my kids'] candy," she said. "I couldn't be in bed and go downstairs … there would be four bags of candy. I couldn't help myself."

"This year, the whole trick-or-treat, I had one lollipop," she dished. "I don't feel that same pull for it. They told me the part of the stomach they remove have hunger hormones in it, called ghrelins. And that changes the way you think and feel about food. I feel so much freer now in terms of needing to move and play with my kids."

Three of her kids -- Blake, 15, Parker, 20, and Vivienne, 12 -- were on hand during the evening celebrating Rosie's arts education organization, which was also attended by her off-and-on girlfriend, Tatum O'Neal.

Per People, Rosie joked during the event honoring Kristin Chenoweth that weighing 240 pounds is "like the Green Bay Packers' front line."

"It's hard," she said. "I used to buy stretch pants size 11, 12. I'd stretch them into a 20. It didn't matter, because the tag said 12 and that's what counts."

Rosie's weight loss is a huge victory for the actress in what has undoubtedly been a difficult year: She left "The View" in February, filed to divorce wife Michelle Rounds not long after, lost her father in August, was accused of bullying a former colleague in October and has dealt with public drama with her 17-year-old daughter Chelsea since the summer.