Heidi Montag Talks Plastic Surgery, Three Years After Transformation: ‘I Won’t Give Up Trying to Prove I’m More Than Just That’

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Nearly three years after Heidi Montag had life-changing plastic surgery — a jaw-dropping 10 procedures in one day — she is settling into her body.

But, the former star of MTV’s The Hills admits she would never do such a series of surgical procedures again.

“I wouldn’t do it again, that’s for sure,” Montag, 25, told Celebuzz in an exclusive interview at her home in Santa Barbara, Calif. “It was a lot more than I could have expected.”

How painful was the experience for Heidi?

She explained, “I really hate talking about it now because it was so long ago. I was a much different person back then to who I am now. I didn’t realize how much of The Hills — and going through that — would define who I am.

“I’m really looking forward to the next phase in my life. I know I’ll never be able to get away from a lot of it, but I won’t give up trying to prove I’m more than just that.”

Montag shocked the world when she was featured on the cover of PEOPLE magazine in early 2010 for having 10 plastic surgery procedures, including breast implants, liposuction on her stomach and thighs, a brow lift and a nose revision.

The cover headline beamed, “Addicted to Plastic Surgery.”

Montag, who has been married to Hills costar Spencer Pratt since 2009, has stayed out of the spotlight for most of 2012. She has mentioned several projects in the works for next year — but is mum on details.

The plastic surgery experience — which marked the descent of Montag from the public eye — was obviously a painful one for the former reality starlet.

“I feel really thankful that it all came out so well — it could have been really disastrous,” Montag said.

“I lived and I learned — and I wouldn’t really recommend it for other people. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be going through it — physically, mentally, emotionally, recovering. But, I’m just glad it’s done and that everything healed so well.”

Montag now says she is on her doctor’s timetable for a full recovery.

“My doctor originally told me it would take two years, so it’s finally settling in now. It feels really good to be healthy and strong,” she added.

“There are basic problems. I use a lot of creams and stuff on any residue scars. But, they’re almost gone now.”

Now that her healing is done — Montag intends to dig out the bikini she has been hiding for months.

“I actually haven’t been in a bikini in about a year, but I’m going to soon and I’m really excited,” she told Celebuzz.

“After my surgery, I stopped working out and now I’m getting back into it I feel the best ever. I feel really healthy and strong and like I’m gonna be the healthiest and fittest. I feel really good.”

Do you think Heidi has changed her ways?