Stars — they really are just like us. For women in Hollywood, the subject of their weight is often a big topic, like it is with the rest of us. And it can be frustrating to carry on a few extra pounds when it affects your quality of life. So for a variety of reasons, health being a major one, a number of plus-sized celebrities have made big transformations in their bodies. Each of them has followed her own path, but all are pretty amazing. Like for Shonda Rhimes — learning how saying yes to things helped her change her body. And for Rosie O’Donnell — she got a real wake-up call thanks to a major health issue. Oprah Winfrey says she has “finally made peace with food.” Read on to see how these celebs changed their lives.
Shonda Rhimes said yes to getting healthy
TV producer Shonda Rhimes decided to change her life after her sister Delorse confronted her in 2013, saying, “You never say yes to anything.” Those words were the basis of the Grey’s Anatomy creator’s best-selling book The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, where Rhimes started to change that way of living.
Rhimes told Oprah Winfrey on the show Super Soul Sunday in 2015 (via Parade) that she thought at the time: “I really need to start saying yes to the things that scare me. If I never say yes to anything, I need to start saying yes to things that I would always say no to automatically.” So one thing that was important for the mother of three to say yes to, she said, was good health, so that she could be there for her kids.
Melissa McCarthy wants to dress women of every size
Actress Melissa McCarthy has been making people laugh for years on the TV show Mike & Molly and movies like Bridesmaids and Spy. She has also been what Refinery29 calls a “role model” for plus-sized women. But she told the website in a 2016 interview, “It never occurs to me in terms of being a role model, though, because I don’t know any perfect women. If I, off the top of my head, name 20 of the most amazing women in my life, it’s all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, jobs.” Besides, as this Hollywood insider knows, even the perfect are not so perfect. “I know some of those women in those magazines who get called perfect or whose butt is supposedly better,” she shared, “and often they don’t even look like that in person.”
As of this writing, the Ghostbusters actress has lost a significant amount of weight that In Touch Weekly estimated to be 75 pounds, although McCarthy has not revealed the exact number. When Refinery29 asked her about it, she shared, “I have, but I’ll be back again. I’ll be up, I’ll be down, probably for the rest of my life. The thing is, if that is the most interesting thing about me, I need to go have a lavender farm in Minnesota and give this up. There has to be something more.”
Jennifer Hudson doesn’t let pancakes intimidate her
Singer/actress Jennifer Hudson is known for her 80-pound weight loss nearly as much as she is known for winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the 2006 film Dreamgirls, a role she had to gain 20 pounds for. She initially started to lose weight for the title role in the 2011 film Winnie Mandela. “Whatever it takes to morph into the character, I’ll do it,” she told People. However, “I wasn’t going to starve myself for anyone.”
Hudson first hired Harley Pasternak, a top celeb trainer. Then she started doing Weight Watchers. Hudson admitted that she had tried to diet in the past, but this time it took thanks to it being less restrictive. She also started working out regularly. In 2014, when she stopped doing the ads, she said (via People), “My experience with Weight Watchers has truly been life changing. I am grateful for what I have learned throughout the process and will always take it with me.”
And she’s also managed to keep the weight off. JHud explained one of her secrets to Yahoo! Style, “I throw the pancakes across the room! I don’t let the food intimidate me,” she said. “If it’s too much, I just get rid of it, but I make sure to watch what I put in my body. And I make sure I know what it is. It’s all about portions for the most part. I don’t work out a lot, but I do like to be active.” She does admit to still indulging on chocolate. “I always have to have chocolate around — it’s my cigarette,” she shared. “I don’t smoke, but it calms me so well.”
Oprah Winfrey’s struggle shows what women in Hollywood face
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most accomplished women in the world. The billionaire talk show host/actress/mogul has been living her best life, as she would say, for decades. But as powerful as she is, she still has had issues with food. Winfrey wrote about it in Food, Health and Happiness, her 2017 cookbook. Winfrey shared that her “powerful need to please everybody on a never-ending basis” led her on the road to weight gain. Even when she became famous as the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she had to deal with Joan Rivers asking her about her weight on The Tonight Show. How embarrassing.
She admitted, “When I feel emotionally depleted or deprived, when I’m overwhelmed by life’s pressures, food has always been my drug of choice — the way alcohol or gambling or shopping might be for someone else. But none of these are fixes,” she noted. “They’re all just empty promises. They don’t actually fill you up inside. They’re like junk food for the soul.” It’s humbling to know that the most powerful woman in American feels that way — sharing the struggle that millions of women in this country face as well.
In 2015, Winfrey bought a share of Weight Watchers and finally started changing her thinking about food for good. “When I manage to nourish myself with the stuff that really matters, food tends to be much less complicated,” she writes. “These are the moments when I’m just genuinely hungry for a wonderful meal, a good sipping tequila, and a long talk with a few old friends.” She told People in 2017 that she had lost 42.5 pounds on the Weight Watchers plan, saying “I finally made peace with food.”
Rebel Wilson tried a weight loss retreat
Wilson told Telegraph that when she first started out in the entertainment industry, she noticed that being fat somehow earned more laughs from the audience. “I saw my size as being an advantage,” she said. However, she told Cosmopolitan in 2015 that she’s committed to living a healthier lifestyle. “Living in LA you learn a lot about health. I now drink green juices and I’m trying to do gluten-free.” In 2016, she even attended a fitness retreat where she lost eight pounds in just four days. She’s not too strict on herself, though, and says she realizes she’ll never be that stick thin woman on the screen. “I wouldn’t ever want to compete with what I call ‘the glamours’ — the really gorgeous people. I’m about the brain, the heart and what’s on the inside. I feel really lucky to be the body type I am,” she told Cosmo.
Chris Pratt put in hard work at the gym
Pratt rose to fame as the chunky Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation — a role that he actually purposely gained weight for. “I would eat four burgers at every read. I became really fat and got up to almost 300lbs,” he revealed to Men’s Health in 2015. But then, when he starred in Guardians of the Galaxy, he showcased a thinner, fitter figure thanks to a strict diet and workout regimen. According to Pratt, the secret to his weight loss is moderation. “I keep close to what I need to be, but I have to live my life as well,” he said during a press event for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Jonah Hill turned to his actor friends for inspiration
Hill’s weight loss journey has seen tons of ups and downs over the years we’ve known him. When he appeared in 2007’s Superbad, he was definitely on the heavier side, but began to shed a few pounds over the years. His weight loss journey reportedly began in 2011 when he was working on the set of Moneyball alongside Brad Pitt, who Express says inspired Hill to start getting into shape. In 2016, Hill faced a setback when he gained weight for his role in War Dogs. But now, Hill is looking better than ever — and this time, he has his actor friend Channing Tatum to thank. Hill told Jimmy Fallon that he called Tatum and asked him, “if I eat less and go to a trainer, will I get, like, in good shape?” To which Tatum apparently replied, “of course you will.”
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