5 Divas Who Lost Weight and Kept Their Curves

It’s hard to read a magazine or watch television without seeing another famous person showing off their slimmed down body. They all take different approaches, but my friends and I often comment on how much easier it would be if we had mountains of money to throw at the problem.

Who wouldn’t want their own celebrity trainer, personal chef or surgeon to keep us in check? Okay, maybe not the surgeon, but how hard can it really be to lose weight when you’re a celebrity?

We found five beautiful divas that have publicly battled the scale for years, and won. These are women we can actually relate to as they took off a healthy amount of weight while embracing their curves and celebrating their natural bodies. Learn more about how they did it, and get tips to create your own success story.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City – June 27, 2012

Jennifer Hudson

You can’t turn on the TV these days without seeing Jennifer Hudson rockin’ a snug-fitting dress and a new, hot body to promote Weight Watchers – and her 80 pound weight-loss is inspiring. The Oscar-winning diva has even written a book about her slim-down, "I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down." In the book, Hudson talks about ditching the diet mentality that keeps so many of us on a yo-yo diet, believing you can’t eat certain foods which then leads to binge-eating and negative self-talk like, “I cheated.”  The American Idol alum even got 175 family members on board, and together they lost a whopping 2,000 pounds!  Having tried (and failed) Weight Watchers several times myself, I have to admit, she’s even got me singing, “Believe in Yourself!”

Takeaway Tip: Don’t deny yourself any type of food. Hudson didn’t eat pizza for over 10 years because she considered it “bad.” All food is good in moderation.

2012 Essence Music Festival – Day 3

Aretha Franklin

You’ve got to give it to the Queen of Soul, despite health issues and a long battle with her weight, this diva continues to earn our R-E-S-P-E-C-T and proves you can lose weight at any age. After a months-long illness, where folks speculated she had pancreatic cancer, Franklin debuted a slimmed down figure at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Having lost 85 pounds, many speculated the diva underwent gastric bypass surgery but the queen isn’t talking. Regardless of her method, she says she’s given up the hot sauce and soul food faves like pig feet.


Takeaway Tip: Don’t let little things like your age or what other people think keep you from making a fresh start. Healthy looks good at any age!

Barclaycard Wireless Festival – Day 2

Missy Elliott

As someone who still listens to Missy “Misdemeanor’s” Work It and Get UR Freak On while I’m on the “dread-mill,” I couldn’t leave this legendary female MC off my list. In 2002, Missy debuted a slimmed-down body with the release of her album “Under Construction” and some of her fans weren’t too pleased. The rap star addressed her haters on the single, “Gossip Folks,” but credits her doctor’s warning that she could have a stroke due to her high blood pressure with giving her the wake-up call she needed to change her life.


Miss E. lost 70 pounds at the time by eating a low-sodium diet and incorporating exercise into her daily schedule. A decade later, with some weight back on, Missy announced she was diagnosed with Graves Disease, a thyroid disorder. Now that she has many of her symptoms under control, she’s been able to drop 30 pounds since then and is back in the studio.


Takeaway Tip:  There will always be someone hating what you do and obstacles in your way. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back from reaching your goals. Surround yourself with positive people and take charge of your health by getting regular check-ups.

AFI FEST 2009 Screening Of Precious: Based On The Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire

Sherri Sheppard

After learning she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, The View co-host and actress/comedian changed her diet and lost around 30 pounds. But the change didn’t stick and Sherri found the weight creeping back on. In 2009, Sherri decided to make a goal for herself and shared it on The View: to get in a bikini within three months.

In order to meet her goal, Sherri hired a personal trainer who worked out with her four days a week. Sherri also used a food delivery service so that she didn’t have to worry about cooking. After three months had passed, Sherri lost 41 pounds and over 10 inches. While she did use her celebrity status to get the help she needed, Sherri has kept off her weight by finding activities she actually enjoys, like salsa dancing.


Takeaway Tip: Set a goal and share it with others. Sherri says announcing her goal on The View helped to keep her focused. Also, find activities you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like exercise.

Chaka Khan Perform During Taste Of Chicago

Chaka Khan

At 59-years-old, this diva has proved she really is Every Woman with her recent weight loss. In an interview with Essence magazine, the singer says she decided to get healthy after her doctor diagnosed her with Type-2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. She also credits the adoption of her 10-year-old granddaughter with giving her the boost she needed to take control of her health. Khan says she went on a strict fast for months before becoming vegan, and lost 60 pounds. She also told the magazine that she doesn’t pay attention to her age.

Takeaway Tip:  The most motivational tip comes from Khan’s response to a reporter’s question, “how does it feel to be a sex symbol now?” The diva responded, “Well, I’ve always been a sex symbol. When I was fat, I was a sex symbol.” And that’s an attitude for Every Woman.