'Shahs of Sunset' MJ Sheds lbs ... Swimwear Rejoices

6/19/2014 1:15 PM PDT

'Shahs of Sunset' MJ's Weight Loss -- Mercedes Javid Sheds Lbs [PHOTOS]

Shahs of Sunset star, Mercedes "MJ" Javid painted on a bathing suit for a rooftop photo shoot in L.A. this week ... and it looks like she's dropped a bunch of weight. LOOKS like it anyway.

MJ's been pretty open about her weight issues -- and last year claimed she was shedding pounds without really trying. She never revealed a number, but this is pretty strong evidence. 

Compare MJ now to her infamous poolside shot from 2 years ago. 

But here's the issue -- this is Hollywood where everything isn't always as it seems.

So ... we gotta ask ...