Sherri Shepherd has pulled our card. The single mother and curvy comedian recently got from behind the chat table at "The View" and strutted her stuff in a bathing suit in front of millions, proving weight loss is possible by cutting back and exercising--even on a busy schedule and a few hot wings and cookies along the way. As she prepares for the debut of her new Lifetime sitcom "Sherri," the jovial star got serious to talk about how she got her diabetes under control after watching her mother die, why she's not getting a breast reduction, and her sexy wish now that she's slimmed down.
ESSENCE.COM: You worked it in that bathing suit on "The View." What inspired you to lose weight in front of America and strut your stuff in swimwear?
SHERRI SHEPHERD: I thought you could be healthy without a crazy diet or pills, with just eating right and exercise, and one of the perks was fitting in a bathing suit. I said I would do it too in the moment and then it was on me to deliver. I started getting many women saying to me on Twitter they lost two pounds or encouraging me to go to the gym. That's what kept me going. We have to be healthy because we have children and a legacy to leave. That was really my goal, not the bathing suit.
ESSENCE.COM: What's been the biggest perk to losing weight and how did you celebrate your bathing suit debut?
SHEPHERD: You gotta have your girls, and my close friends flew out for the big reveal and were my celebration. I needed those friendly faces as I came out in a bathing suit. After the reveal, for lunch I had a pastrami sandwich without bread. There were days I cheated, and I didn't beat myself up. I just got back on track. My son is 4. On the playground before, I would just watch him and be tired. This weekend we ran and played and I wasn't breathing hard. That was a great feeling. I want to see him graduate and to hold my grandkids.
ESSENCE.COM: You also are diabetic. How has your medical health been impacted?
SHEPHERD: I watched my mom pass away at 41 from diabetic complications, and now I am prolonging my life. There are many benefits to exercising besides weight loss and I am happy to say I am not on any medicines now. Exercise regulated my blood sugar, even with the cheat days. Diabetes is the silent killer of our community because the symptoms aren't always as strong. I couldn't feel my big toe, and we don't pay attention until it's too late.
ESSENCE.COM: Definitely. And you remain naturally well endowed. What do you say to those who keep asking about a breast reduction?
SHEPHERD: I don't have back problems and I'm fine. God gave these to me and he obviously knew I could handle them. When I'm old and they are hanging, I am still going to love them. We have to stop giving in to what people think we should be. I am absolutely happy with my boobs. My sister saw a blog on ten reasons Sherri would be fat again. I may go up and I can work it back down. I'm still going to enjoy pork chops every once in a while.
ESSENCE.COM: So, how does it feel to get your sexy back and how do you plan to keep it?
SHEPHERD: Girl, Malcolm [Jamal Warner, her "Sherri" costar] said to me I didn't know you had it like that, looking at my body. It was a really big compliment. I find what works for me. I love tennis, me and my son dance on Sundays, and having two jobs now keeps me moving, especially with the sitcom where I get to do physical comedy. I don't even mind doing squats with my trainer because I can see a butt starting to come in. I have a lot of energy and I told the writers I am ready for a sex scene!