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Al Roker marks 20 years since gastric bypass: ‘I never forget how far I’ve come’

“It’s still a struggle but I’m never going back,” the TODAY meteorologist wrote on Instagram.
Al Roker saved the pants he wore to his gastric bypass.
Al Roker saved the pants he wore to his gastric bypass.alroker/ Instagram/ TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Al Roker marked a very special anniversary on Tuesday.

The TODAY meteorologist commemorated the 20th anniversary of his gastric bypass surgery by posting a trio of pictures on Instagram featuring him and an old pair of blue jeans.

“Hard to believe it was 20 years ago today, I wore these size 54 Levi jeans to my #gastricbypass at 340 lbs and here I am today,” he captioned the pictures, which featured him holding the pants in one photo and wearing the now-oversized jeans in a pair of others. “It’s still a struggle but I’m never going back. I have setbacks and struggle every day, but I never forget how far I’ve come.”

His TODAY colleagues were there to celebrate with him.

"You are so inspiring. Every day. Every minute," Savannah Guthrie commented.

“You’re the Yoda to my Skywalker Uncle Al!” Carson Daly wrote.

"No one better than our pal, Al," commented TODAY with Hoda & Jenna.

“These were the pants I wore for my gastric bypass, to my gastric bypass,” Al said in a Twitter video while holding them up. Someone off camera asked if he could fit in them, so he put them on, revealing just how big they are on him now.

Al, who wrote about his weight-loss experiences in the 2012 book “Never Goin’ Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle for Good,” told TODAY in 2013 that he was finally in a good place.

“I’m thrilled about where I am,” he said. “Life is terrific; I wouldn’t trade it for a moment. But you always wonder where you would be if ‘x’ hadn’t happened. I’m thrilled that I’ve finally got to this place at 58 years old. I finally got it figured out. I feel good about it.”

In the same year, Al also spoke about how his weight affected his marriage to Deborah Roberts. He noted she ran and was a size 4.

Hannibal premier
Al Roker at the premiere of the film "Hannibal" at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on Feb. 6, 2001. Nick Elgar / Getty Images

“For the overweight person, the person who’s struggling, there are obviously issues that we’re dealing with,” he told TODAY. “It’s not like we’re being fat to spite the person who’s in good shape. That’s what the person who isn’t struggling needs to realize.”

“Here’s the thing I say to the person in the couple who’s not struggling with their weight: Shut up,” he added. “We know we’re fat. We know we need to lose weight. You're nagging us and pleading with us doesn’t help. In fact, in ways it makes it worse. We’re not going to change until something clicks within us.”

Al’s decision to lose weight also helped others, including one TODAY fan named Marcie Jaworski who was inspired by him to drop 165 pounds in her 60s.

“You started it all,” she said while appearing on the show in 2017.