Star Jones says doctors warned her she would die if she didn't drop weight from her onetime 307-pound frame.
"I was an addict for all practical purposes, that I had never stuck to a real diet, that I'd never stuck to a real exercise program," the former View cohost says in an episode of The Oprah Winfrey show that airs tomorrow.
"The doctor said, 'If you don't make changes, you will die.' I had no choice," Jones said.
The 47-year-old is still sensitive of criticism about her decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery -- which helped her drop 160 pounds -- in 2003.
"When you hear people say, 'Oh, you took the easy way out....' I would have longed for an easy way. It was not an easy way. It was...the hardest struggle of my whole entire life and I still struggle," Jones said.
Even though she's kept the weight off, Jones admitted: "I'm still 300 pounds in my head some days."
She's still hurt that Barbara Walters said the show's audience could no longer relate to her once she slimmed down.
"I was hurt and upset initially," said Jones, who initially denied the surgery despite widespread speculation. "I'm so sorry that I placed a burden on my colleagues. I never asked them to lie."