Health

10 Celebrities Share Their Journeys

The body positivity movement started a much-needed conversation on the importance of self-love and acceptance. At the same time, weight loss is still on Americans’ minds. “We are all fish swimming in the sea of diet culture, and I think that is part of what makes weight loss and body acceptance so complicated,” says Kayli Anderson, RDN, a plant-based dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor, who is based in Salida, Colorado. Anderson is also a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and of Everyday Health’s Health Expert Network.

In a recent survey by Everyday Health, which queried more than 3,000 people who attempted to lose weight in the preceding six months, respondents reported increased feelings of guilt and shame during their weight loss journey. What’s more, their preoccupation with weight and body image increased.

RELATED: Everyday Health’s Survey and Special Report: Weight Loss Reframed

Despite those challenges, many people want to lose weight. According to a Gallup poll published in January 2022, about 55 percent of Americans would like to lose weight. A past report, published in July 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even found that about 49 percent of U.S. adults tried to lose weight over a 12-month period. And lest we forget Ozempic, which has seen such a high demand in recent months it’s even led to counterfeits, as Reuters reports.

Among those who are overweight or have obesity, even modest weight loss can be beneficial for health, decreasing the risk of chronic diseases, according to the CDC. “Obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, cancer, and numerous other medical problems — losing weight to mitigate these consequences should be the focus rather than a number on the scale or meeting certain societal beauty standards,” says Baltimore-based Zoobia Chaudhry, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with clinical expertise in obesity medicine.

Weight loss, however, can of course be challenging — and the likelihood of weight regain is high (not to mention everyone’s journey is different). One review noted that a meta-analysis of 29 weight loss studies found that more than half of people’s weight loss was regained within two years (and after five years, more than 80 percent of the weight loss was regained).“The body tends to adapt to changes after weight loss, leading to plateaus in weight loss and weight regain in most individuals,” says Chaudhry. “Understanding and managing these adaptations is crucial for sustained progress,” she adds. Another study further explains that “metabolic adaptation” is often the reason why weight loss isn’t always linear.

An additional hurdle for people attempting weight loss? That diet culture. “Diet culture includes things like airbrushed images in advertisements, social media influencers promoting supplements and fad diets, and a society that promotes an ideal body shape and size,” says Anderson. “This leads us to focus on appearance and numbers instead of on a healthy lifestyle, but the reality is that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes,” Anderson adds.

While we have little control over the genetics that determine the size and shape of our bodies, our energy is better spent focusing on healthy behaviors, like eating nourishing foods, moving our bodies daily, and finding healthy ways to manage stress, Anderson explains. “By focusing on these things, you gain a lot more than a specific clothing size and you avoid the trap of trying to fit into the mold that society has defined as ‘ideal,’” says Anderson.

Needless to say, health journeys — including ones aimed at weight loss — are complicated, with various factors at play. Here, discover 11 authentic quotes from celebrities about weight loss, including the struggles as well as what worked, and what they gained from their experience.

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