We love an inspirational weight-loss story and Sheryl Underwood is giving us one. The 58-year-old TV personality and comedian has lost 90 pounds in the last year and a half. The inspiration to shed weight came from health concerns her doctor shared when she found herself between 230-250 pounds. Underwood wanted to “get ahead” of the health challenges, so weight loss was essential.
“My lab work: diabetic, pre-diabetic, hypertension, all the things that you hear, especially with women,” she told PEOPLE.
Initially, Underwood considered gastric bypass surgery, which is a weight-loss surgery that makes your stomach smaller so you feel full faster and eat less as a result.
“I was going to have to have a surgery,” Underwood shared tearfully. “And when you do it, you have to go through the psychiatrist. You have to go through the dietician. But because I worked with the dietician, I lost weight. I didn’t lose a significant amount, but I lost to a point where the insurance was not going to pay for it. Then when I was going to get the colonoscopy — I go get my colon looked at every year, but I went and got the endoscopy too — that’s when my other doctor said, ‘I got something I want you to try, and if it doesn’t work, then we have to go [to gastric bypass surgery].'”
Underwood’s doctor suggested Wegovy, which is a weekly injection that suppresses appetite and facilitates weight loss. As you can imagine, the injection would need to accompany lifestyle changes, which the Emmy winner was ready to put into place. One of the changes she made was upping the amount of sleep she was getting and drinking more water.
“I’m eating fruit and vegetables that I never thought: green, leafy. I’m getting into eating blueberries and eating strawberries, and also getting more fiber in my diet with fiber supplements,” she said.
The actress hasn’t completely cut out fast food but she’s gotten better at portion control.
“If I have a taste for McDonald’s or Burger King or something like that, now I can eat the equivalent of less than a Happy Meal,” she shared. “And I’m not starving.”
In addition to diet and sleep routine changes, Underwood has also added more movement to her routine. She admits that her line of work doesn’t encourage much activity as she drives to work, then sits to do her hair and makeup and sits to film The Talk. However, she’s being more intentional these days about moving.
“Sometimes I just get up and walk around, or I try to talk on the phone and walk around, or I’ll do something while sitting in bed — I may do a little exercise, little stretching and things,” she told the publication. “I love the stationary bike because then I can listen to my music and be on the bike.”
The hard work is paying off. The star gets regular blood work done and the results show an improvement. Some of her future goals are to lose another 25 pounds and stop taking blood pressure medication. Lastly, she hopes to show off her new figure in a birthday episode of her show by rocking a dress for the first time and a pair of heels. We’re here for all of it and respect the work that went into this transformation.