What quarantine weight?
Whether they were getting in their best shape for health reasons, to shed the weight gained during pregnancy or to simply live longer, these stars (and a child of one of the brightest ones) turned heads with their transformations this year. See who did it in 2021, how and why.
The comedian and actress, who lost weight in the past and was even able to turn things around with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, said she decided to take things up a notch in 2021. That included joining Healthy Wage to put money on a weight-loss goal of 15 pounds (which she exceeded), changing her diet and getting more active than ever. She’s been showcasing her results on Instagram and inspiring many other people.
“During COVID, I put on weight and realized I needed to get back to the basics again, which was a lifestyle change,” she told PEOPLE, saying at 54 she feels better than ever. “My goal is to be living a long and active life with my son Jeffrey, who shares the same birthday as me.”
After giving birth to two little ones close in age and getting a divorce, LeToya Luckett shed more than 50 pounds with help from Body Complete RX, a Black woman-owned brand that specializes in plant-based wellness supplements.
“LISTEN Y’ALL!!! Ya girl is officially 55 lbs down 🥳 and feeling sooooo amazing!!! When I tell you when I had Tysun I was tipping 200 lbs,” she wrote after hitting her goal. “I started @bodycompmeterx TRIM Kit in March and now I’m 145! 55 lbs. Can you see it y’all?!? 👀🙌🏽”
The star surprised everyone with her weight loss, shedding nearly 30 pounds and sharing her results in the summer by doing extended fasts. She made it clear that she wasn’t interested in looking like a “twig,” but rather, was just trying to get her body ready for the future.
“I drink a lot of water and I drink a lot of electrolytes and I’ll have some bone broth now and then depending on if it gets difficult,” she told Good Morning America of getting through her fasts. “But I have a goal in mind so that’s what keeps me sustained. I want to make sure my body is healthy and prepared to deal with old age.”
The daughter of singer Brandy, Sy’rai Smith opened up about her significant weight loss, which took a lot of hard work. The 19-year-old was inspired to drop the pounds out of concern for her health and a desire to be able to live long alongside her family.
“I had a lot of health issues when I was at the size that I was,” Smith told the ladies of The Real. “My mom was with me during everything. She saw me go through a lot. I just decided to really take my health seriously. So I changed my mindset, changed my mentality, and I knew that being in the body I was in, I knew my life wasn’t going to be as long.”
She added, “I just knew living my purpose, I want to be able to live in that body if I wanted to fulfill anything going forward in my life. So I just really, really took time. I really thought to myself: ‘I want to be there for my little sisters, my little brothers, I want to be there for my mom, my dad’ and I was like, ‘I need to change, like now.’”
Amara La Negra
Fans of singer, TV personality and actress Amara La Negra couldn’t believe their eyes when she started to showcase a svelte figure this year, but as she would explain in an interview with ESSENCE, her transformation was inspired by health concerns — ones she was dealing with and others she hoped to avoid.
“…when I was in the Dominican Republic, I found [out] that I have some internal health issues and that also was part of my weight loss. Then eventually back in December, I was weighing about 230 and I didn’t even realize it because it was just like thickness. But my thickness also didn’t contribute to a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “I come from a family with breast cancer. My father has prostate cancer. Thyroids, high blood pressure, diabetes, all type of things. I was like, ‘Well, if I don’t start taking care of myself… I know I’m trying to be thick and look sexy for everybody else, but internally, I’m dying.’ So I had to modify a couple of things and now I’m here.”
A transformation that didn’t shock people but certainly impressed many was the work done by Ciara. After giving birth to her third child, she once again hunkered down and got busy, this time with support from WW (she’s an ambassador), and eventually lost the 39 pounds she gained while pregnant with son Win.
“If you believe in yourself and set goals, it’s all possible! Go for it! Go get it!” she wrote on Instagram. “I am so excited to continue the journey with WW, focusing on my overall wellness and maintaining this strong body that gave me three beautiful babies without having to restrict myself.”
Sure, the megastar accomplished his goal of losing 20 pounds, taking fans on his journey to shed the weight after playing Richard Williams in King Richard, but in making his accountability project, YouTube series The Best Shape of My Life, while simultaneously working on his memoir, Will, the actor also shed a lot of other things. He confronted past pain and was able to not only shape up physically but mentally and emotionally as well.
Also impressive, by sharing his body openly before the journey, he encouraged other men, including a number of famous ones, to not only do the same, but also embark on their own fitness journey.
Earlier this year, the rapper showed off the results of his hard work from 2020, losing weight after polyps in his throat and sleep apnea were causing him to have significant trouble breathing. “The doctor told me that if I caught a cold or slept wrong that I could die,” he told Men’s Health. “It felt like this was on me now, and I had to steer things in a different direction.” He moved to Florida to do a weight-loss program in 2020 and remained committed to it. He is now in the best shape he’s been in, in years.
“I ain’t just getting in shape to look good with my music,” he said. “I was raised to protect and provide for my family and my people. I don’t know how to be any other way. I have to contribute in any way I can, even if that means engaging in physicality to ensure survival.”