It's easy to shrug off celebrity weight loss stories. Hollywood's hottest can devote hours each day to working out and can afford personal chefs to prepare three healthy meals a day. They can get easy access to the trendiest of yoga studios and to stylists to dress them in their most slimming getups.
But, maybe more than ever before, celebs who opt to slim down aren't exploiting their star power just to look drop dead gorgeous on the red carpet, but, admirably, to be the healthiest versions of themselves.
When actress Marisa Jaret Winokur's doctor told her she had high cholesterol and needed to take meds or lose weight, it functioned as a wake-up call, she told TheInsider.com. "I'm definitely not the person that's like, 'I'm going to lose weight to fit in a dress' or 'I need to lose weight for a boyfriend or a job.' I've never felt like my weight defines me," she said.
And when "Glee" star Amber Riley -- who has embraced her shape both on-screen and off -- dropped two dress sizes, it wasn't for looks. "I've always been comfortable with my size," she told People. "I just decided it was time to get healthy."
Winokur and Riley are just two examples from a year of inspiring, health-focused transformations. In the slideshow below, you'll find more celebrity weight loss success stories revealed in 2012. And don't forget -- if you have a success story of your own, send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured on the site!
Although the blogger has been on a mission to get healthy since 2008, this year, he took his regimen to a whole new level, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/07/perez-hilton-weight-loss-newnownext-awards_n_1409518.html">revealing some killer abs</a> at LOGO's 2012 NewNowNext Awards, HuffPost Gay Voices reported. "It wasn't quick," he told HuffPost about the weight-loss process. "And I worked for it! I'm <em>still</em> working for it! In fact, I'm working much harder on my fitness now than when I first started this journey." It's paid off emotionally and mentally, too. "Looking good isn't as good as <em>feeling</em> good," he said. "And I feel better than ever! I hope I'm able to inspire others."
It seems like no matter what she's doing, people can't stop talking about Jessica Simpson's weight, and her pregnancy was no different. The singer gained 70 pounds while pregnant with her daughter -- and admitted it's not all fun and games taking it off. <a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-09-04/jessica-simpson-weight-watchers/57581026/1">"I'm not a supermodel. My body is not bouncing back like a supermodel,"</a> she told USA Today. "I'm just your everyday woman who is trying to feel good and be healthy for her daughter, her fiancé and herself." Thanks to a deal to be a Weight Watchers spokesperson and workouts with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, Simpson <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/how-jessica-simpson-lost-60-pounds-in-5-months-20122510">shed 60 of the 70 pounds</a> by October of this year, just five months after giving birth, Us Weekly reported. Pasternak expressed his support for his client, telling the magazine, "In over 20 years, I've never seen as consistent a weight loss. Jessica's right where she needs to be . . . She's gotten so much stronger." Word circulated late in November that <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/jessica-simpson-is-pregnant-again-20122811">the singer is pregnant again</a> -- only time will tell if she confirms the reports, and how her body changes this time around.
The actor has <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/23/lindsay-lohan-dating-trainer-famous-couples_n_2005962.html#slide=1671195">called his yoga-instructor wife a "good influence"</a> -- and it showed, when he revealed a trimmer figure in January 2012. "I lost 30 pounds in four months,” he told Access Hollywood, by cutting out sugar, and adding Pilates, Spinning and yoga to his regular routine, after being <a href="http://www.etonline.com/news/118499_Alec_Baldwin_Diagnosed_as_Pre_Diabetic/index.html">diagnosed as pre-diabetic</a> in 2011, Entertainment Tonight reported.
The singer first showed off her weight loss in 2011, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/02/jordin-sparks-shows-off-w_n_856340.html">tweeting a picture of herself in a bikini</a>, about 30 pounds down. But by the summer of 2012, she'd bumped that up to an even 50, appearing on the cover of Shape. "I just wanted to be healthy," she told the magazine. "I remember thinking, 'I'm in my prime. I should be happy and fit.' That was the moment I decided that changes needed to be made." She started taking walks around her neighborhood, and eventually added hiking and Zumba to her fitness routine. "There is no secret," she told Us Weekly, of how she did it. "It's just <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/jordin-sparks-shows-off-50-pound-weight-loss-at-sparkle-premiere-2012158">better eating and working out</a>! It's definitely a daily thing."
After retiring from the NBA, the Hall of Famer <a href="http://www.parade.com/celebrity/sunday-with/2012/05/13-charles-barkley-weight-loss-life-lessons-walking-heels.html">gained about 100 pounds</a>, he told Parade. "And that wasn't good." In an unforgettable line of Weight Watchers ads -- including one in a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs57GZYHtdM">dress and heels</a> -- Barkley revealed a nearly 60-pound drop in 2012. <a href="http://news.menshealth.com/drop-weight-like-a-man/2012/06/10/">Eating a variety of foods (in moderation) helped immensely</a>, he told Men's Health, as did the support of friends. "Losing weight is better if you've got people around you who can keep you motivated," he said.
The former Disney star has spoken out about <a href="http://www.parents.com/parenting/celebrity-parents/moms-dads/hilary-duff/">taking her time to lose the weight she gained while pregnant with her son</a>. "There are some women who look the same right after -- I think they are freaks of nature! I don't know how that happens,” she told Parents magazine in October. "I'm not one of those people. It takes your body nine months to get there -- really 10 months. So I'm trying to be patient but I'm working hard. And I think now more than ever, I appreciate my body and what it's done for me." But in December, eight months after giving birth, Duff <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/hilary-duff-weight-loss-post-baby-body-actress-back-size-26-jeans-giving-birth_n_2233225.html">tweeted a picture of her progress</a>: She's back in her skinny jeans, flaunting a size 26 and giving a nod to trainer Gabe Johns. "Hilary and Gabe have been doing everything from boxing to two-a-day workouts incorporating wind sprints and jump roping in an effort to finally shed the baby weight," a rep for the trainer told Us Weekly. "<a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/hilary-duff-wears-size-26-skinny-jeans-8-months-after-baby-2012312">Hilary's been steadily dropping pounds</a> each week."
Rap legend Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons told HuffPost Black Voices that he's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/rev-run-weight-loss-lower-diabetes-risk_n_2198731.html">lost 22 pounds</a>, in an effort to get healthy and combat his higher-than-average risk for Type 2 diabetes. "I found out that [my father] had diabetes in his older age and as I was moving along in my life ... I realized that I had to start losing weight," he said. "[It was] for many reasons, but the number one reason was for health."
The singer<a href="http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-famous/pink-rocks-out-cover-shape"> dropped 55 pounds after the birth of her daughter</a>. While pregnant, she told Shape, "I ate a lot of cheesecake ... Also anything sour -- Sour Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, key lime pie..." Workouts with celebrity trainers Jillian Michaels and Jeannette Jenkins helped her get back to her pre-pregnancy weight and into the best shape of her life, she told the magazine.
After pinpointing fast food as a source of stomach discomfort in the summer of 2011, the "Glee" star overhauled her eating habits and jumped on a new exercise plan. By February 2012, she had <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20572364,00.html">dropped two dress sizes</a>. "I've always been comfortable with my size," she told People. "I just decided it was time to get healthy." After collapsing on a red carpet in May, Riley <a href="http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/02/amber-riley-clears-up-rumors-after-red-carpet-collapse/">took to Twitter to clear up her attitude on weight</a>, writing, as CNN reported, "I don't starve myself to fit clothes; I buy clothes to fit ME not vice versa, I DO NOT DIET; I eat right and exercise! I love myself waaaay more than I like my career. I would never ever put myself in harm's way to mirror any 'image.'"
The Australian actress joined Jenny Craig as a spokesperson in 2011 and <a href="http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/new-idea/news/star-watch/article/-/10294134/rebel-wilson-ive-lost-10kgs/">lost 22 pounds in her first 10 weeks</a> on the program, according to an Australian Yahoo affiliate. "I was like a marshmallow blob when I started, but now I’m starting to get back into the shape I remember," she said. By August 2012, on an appearance of "Jimmy Kimmel Live", she had <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/rebel-wilson-bridesmaids-slimmer-figure-jimmy-kimmel_n_1792391.html">shed a total of 33 pounds</a>, HuffPost Celebrity reported, by incorporating <a href="http://www.jennycraig.com.au/friends-of-jenny/Rebel-Wilson/Blog/Ive-lost-15-kilos-with-Jenny">water aerobics, walking and working out with a trainer</a> into her regular routine, she wrote on her Jenny Craig blog.
Marisa Jaret Winokur
The actress <a href="http://www.theinsider.com/gossip/56782_Marissa_Jaret_Winokur_Talks_Weight_Wake_Up_Call/index.html">lost 60 pounds in six months</a>, she revealed to TheInsider.com, after her doctor warned her about her high cholesterol levels in April. After losing her father late in 2010, she gained around 40 pounds, but hearing the news that she would need to go on medication or lose weight brought her focus back to her health. "That was my wake-up call most of all," she said. "I'm definitely not the person that's like, 'I'm going to lose weight to fit in a dress' or 'I need to lose weight for a boyfriend or a job.' I've had a great career. I'm happily married. I have a beautiful son. I've never felt like my weight defines me."
After the much-publicized disclosure of her <a href="http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/46023389">Type 2 diabetes diagnosis</a>, the comfort-food connoisseur made some small changes that paid off in a big way. The Food Network star debuted a <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20607259,00.html">30-pound weight loss</a> in People magazine in June. Instead of her favorite Southern delicacies, Deen's said to opt for Greek salads and baked fish now. "I do think differently now," she told the magazine, when it comes to food. "I'm more aware."
Upon her "Dancing WIth The Stars" return, Palin showed off a slimmer figure, telling Us Weekly, "<a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/bristol-palins-amazing-weight-loss-how-she-did-it-2012259">I'm definitely in better shape than I was last time</a>, definitely. I'm just more active and I cut all the crap out of my diet! It's that simple."
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