'Glee' Star Amber Riley's Weight Loss Transformation Isn't Typical (PHOTO)

Wonder Woman 19

amber riley naacp image awards 2012Every time I read that Glee star Amber Riley, who portrays the knock-out diva Mercedes, was "comfortable with her body," I'd shake my head and wonder just how long we had until Hollywood took hold of the 26-year-old actress. How long until she struck her deal with one of the big weight-loss companies a la Jessica Simpson or Janet Jackson. How long until she was on the cover of a celeb mag in a bikini, coverline blaring, "SIZE 16 to SIZE 00 in 16 WEEKS!" How long until she was the new Jennifer Hudson/Jordin Sparks/Mariah Carey "success" story. That's what Hollywood does to all more voluptuous actresses, after all. It whittles 'em down to a more palatable single digit size ... sooner or later.

Well, the time appears to be now ... sort of. Riley looked noticeably slimmer in a mermaid blue Theia sequin gown at the NAACP Image Awards a few days back. She also spoke about her transformation to People -- and it turns out, her weight loss isn't exactly "Hollywood typical."

What I mean is ... it doesn't sound like she had some sort of epiphany (aka talk with her manager) and decided that unless she got skinny, she'd be limited in the parts she would be able to play. Happily, it doesn't sound at all like the disease of self-loathing experienced by heavier actresses in showbiz has gotten to her and driven her to twice-a-day workouts and a diet consisting of egg whites and protein shakes (I'm looking at you, Beyonce).

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Instead, stomach pains drove Amber to her doctor's office, and she says, "I decided I was going to make a change and eat healthier," because the fast food and burgers she preferred "were attacking my stomach." As a result, she's dropped two dress sizes, which is awesome! And which is a much better marker, in my opinion, of success over the scale.

Amber also made a point to note that she really has "always been comfortable with [her] size," but she "just decided it was time to get healthy." As far as I'm concerned, that is the most honorable wellness goal. For weight loss to be the effect of a healthier lifestyle -- not the product of pushing to be something or someone you're not -- really is the ultimate success story.

I'm so psyched for Amber, because it's more than clear that she's on the right track personally. Not to mention how important her message is. She's reminding us that we should all be aiming to "get healthy," to feel vital -- not to "be skinny." And no, they are not necessarily one in the same.

What do you think about Amber's weight loss? Does it sound like she's slimming down for the right reason?


Image via Jen Lowery/Splash News

celebrities, celebrity diets, weight loss, glee, eating healthy, eating habits


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Melis... Melissa042807

I hope that's the truth, because that is the right reason. That's what happened to me - I was happy with my body, even though I for sure wasn't at my skinniest, and I changed my diet for other health reasons and lost a bunch of weight too. 

Incidentally, I love that blue sequined dress. I want it!

douxm... douxmusique

I think it is the only reason to slim down. So good for her.

Crystal Achterkirch

i think shes awsome roll model she is not doing this to be skinny but to be heathly. 

Manuel Manriquez

I dont think it matters how or why she loses weight. She just should because it is healthy. Wether her manager made her or not...I think its a good thing. America is full of overweight and unhealthy people. We indulge ourselves in food and whatever we want. Everyone should be healthy and thin! plus...its good for self confidence.

Damieka Leggett

Being thin is not good for your self confidence i know a lot of thin people who are un healthy and who don't like themselves its how you feel about yourself in the first place that matter you can have a size 00 girl who has no confidence and a size 30 girl who has all the confidence in the world, with that being said i'm glad she's doing to be healthy not to fit into this un-realistic idea of what beauty is are how a women's body should look like especially in Hollywood. So you go girl!!

nonmember avatar Michelle

Good for her! Let's hope she's keeps that frame of mind to just "get healthy" and not lose weight due to the pressures of Hollywood.

KenneMaw KenneMaw

So proud of Amber.   She is amazingly talented!!!

Jacqueline Lorenz

She hasn't let hollywood get to her. she's doing it for her health. how many of us feel the food coma or a little sick when we eat wayyyyy too much fast food? not to mention she does a lot of movin and groovin on the set! That burns calories too! But her dress is gorgeous and her confidence shows!

sweet... sweet.lil.mama

All that matters is your eating healthy...I can't eat fast food anymore. It gives me a stomach ache for days

nonmember avatar Dominique S

I agree that starving yourself to achieve an unrealistic size isn't healthy. That being said, overweight is overweight. I'm not talking about healthy, meat-on-your-bones thickness. I'm talking about excess body fat, especially around the midsection. A diet consisting of high caloric, high fat, and/or high sodium isn't healthy. I think it's great that celebrities like Jennifer Hudson are changing their dietary and excersise habits in order to get healthier and lose excess body fat, as long as their practices are healthy and their goal is to achieve realistic results based on their bone structure/body types.

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