1000-Lb Best Friends' Vannessa Cross Gives Her Best Advice For Meeting Your Weight Loss Goals - Exclusive

Co-star of the popular TV show "1000-lb Best Friends" on TLC, Vannessa Cross has had quite the inspirational weight loss journey. The world has watched her soul search, cry, go to therapy, diet, exercise, and struggle to lose weight. For a while, she didn't, but then she had an epiphany. She needed to change her perspective. 

Ultimately, Cross lost over 100 pounds, qualifying her for bariatric surgery. Not only has she kept the pounds off, but she's also still losing weight. In Season 2 of "1000-lb Best Friends," Cross shows off her new look and seems like a whole new person. 

"Since I've had surgery, my life has changed so dramatically. My thinking is different. My world is different. I tell my friends I feel like I was in prison for 20 years because I didn't go out of my house," Cross said. "I feel like I was [visited by the] Make-a-Wish Foundation, and my dreams came true." 

In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, Cross shares what helped her lose weight and tips for how to achieve weight loss goals. 

Losing weight is all about the mental, not the physical

Cutting out things like fried food, on top of sugar, soda, and bread, helped her shed some pounds, but her real success came after reading a book about food addiction. For Vannessa Cross, when it came to losing weight, her mind was her biggest obstacle. 

"I started treating food as an addiction instead of as a pleasure or a joy," Cross said. However, according to Cross, the difference between food and drug addiction is that food is a necessity. "It ain't like a drug, where you don't have to do it at all and you can still survive. Food, you have to eat, so I cut out anything that was fried. Anything that was real fattening, I made that the drug," Cross said.

That's when it all clicked. Cross realized her weight loss struggle wasn't solely about what was happening on the outside. It was about what was going on inside. It wasn't physical; it was mental. 

"The number one thing I try to tell anyone that is wanting to start this journey and lose weight [is to] start mentally. Start with your mind," Cross said. "Figure out what's going on up there." 

Cross' weight loss strategies

Vannessa Cross also recommends removing unhealthy food from the house, thus keeping these foods out of mind. Instead of making a grocery list, Cross suggests writing down a list of foods to avoid buying at the grocery store and sticking to it. If it's not easily accessible, then someone is less likely to eat it. Meanwhile, if someone else in the house eats something a person losing weight is trying to avoid, then ask those people to keep it away from them in some way, promoting an out-of-sight out-of-mind mentality. 

Cross also swears by healthy smoothies. When she's trying to portion control, smoothies are an excellent answer. 

"That's what I tell people. Number one, work on your mind," Cross said. "Number two, nothing unhealthy. And number three, take your portions down."

You can watch all-new episodes of "1000-lb Best Friends" every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TLC.