How did Sue Aikens lose weight?
When Sue Aikens’ fans prepared to reunite with their on-screen favorite for the 2019 season of Life Below Zero, they weren’t prepared enough.
The Nat Geo reality television heroine knew fans were going to be surprised at her transformation, so she took to Instagram just before the season 13 premiere to warn them:
“I’m a chunky little monkey, there’s no doubt. But you will notice that I’ve lost a tremendous amount of weight this year.”
Despite the heads up from the tenacious survivalist, fans were still thrilled to see Sue Aikens looking trim and terrific in the season premiere.
The comments and compliments poured in, with viewers excited to see Sue looking younger, healthier, and fitter than ever.
As the season progressed, audiences went along for the ride on Life Below Zero—and really admired how their Kavik River resident was taking on new and exciting challenges.
Despite Sue’s openness and honesty over pretty much every aspect of her life, there was a question fans couldn’t get an answer to: How did Sue Aikens lose weight?
Here’s what we were able to uncover about the Life Below Zero star’s weight loss journey.
How much weight did Sue Aikens lose?
Life Below Zero viewers admired Aikens’ considerable weight loss—which turned out to be around 75 pounds in total.
Gone was the “chunky little money” as she described herself.
In her place was a much more streamlined, fitter Sue.
Why did Sue Aikens lose weight?
With a 75-pound weight loss in under a year, the reality star had to be making a concerted effort to get healthy.
But what motivated her to get fit in the first place?
Sue is known for her tenacious, hard-working, courageous approach to life.
It’s why fans love her—and what drives her to take on challenges that most humans would run away from.
The reality star faces challenges head-on.
She dreams of being a lighthouse keeper, she’s passionate about the Arctic, she thrives in the rough and desolate wilderness, and she enjoys “extreme isolation.”
She’s also a woman who refuses to live in a place of fear, and likes to push herself.
With an attitude like that, the battle of the bulge was never going to be a problem for Sue Aikens.
Aikens explained in several 2019 interviews that she had set a goal to be healthier in 6 months than she was “right now.”
From there, she wanted to focus on a healthier long-term lifestyle—one that benefited a lot of women her age.
As Sue neared 60, she also wanted to give her body a better chance of thriving in the environment she loved long term.
The tenacious go-getter didn’t want to be forced to move into a town or city for medical care, and to be forced to turn her back on her home of the last three decades.
The final motivator was a series of historic injuries that weren’t quite healing right.
When Sue decided to get her body back into fighting fit condition, it was as much to heal old wounds as to give her body a chance to avoid new ones.
One of those old wounds came from a bear attack back in 2007, which left tears in Aikens’ hips.
After giving her recovery from various injuries enough time, and feeling confident that her body had healed sufficiently to undertake exercise again, it was time.
Sue made the commitment in October of 2018 to lead a healthier lifestyle, “really push and start getting in shape.”
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How did Sue Aikens lose weight?
So, how did Sue Aikens lose weight?
Even with an inspirational show like Life Below Zero, there are critics.
The same goes for Sue herself, who gets her fair share of viewers asking, ‘Did Sue Aikens get weight loss surgery?’
The answer is a resounding ‘No.’
The star did it the old fashioned way—she got active, got physical, and watched what was going into her body.
But how does someone like Sue Aikens—who pushes her body to its limits just to navigate the camp she calls home—get even more active?
The Life Below Zero cast member explained that she can’t do a lot of the “old style of exercising” she was used to.
The fact was, her body just didn’t move the same way anymore, but she could still push herself in how she carried out chores and repairs around camp.
She also began working less with machinery and more by hand, just to push her body.
Following her dramatic weight loss, Aikens did require a surgery after all—lumbar spine surgery.
In March of 2020, she undertook the procedure, and posted to social media to share with fans that she was “healing like a badass! Walked out of the hospital under my own steam.”
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