A couple of years ago, every American woman was surprised to see Ricki Lake‘s weight loss, after struggling for 20 years. I used to watch her talk shows back in 1995 when I came back to Australia, and we moved to a new town.
It’s no news she’s attractive: Ricki Lake was already beautiful when she was chubby. I don’t quite believe and neither did Ricki Lake for a while, that only slim women can be hot. After the famous 1988 non-musical film Hairspray turned her into a sensation at 18, Ricki Lake’s motto became “I’m big, blonde and beautiful” but that didn’t last. After accepting herself the way she was, succeeding in acting in Hairspray (where she played chubby teenager Tracy Turnblad), she found herself being 21, weighing her all-time high of 260 lbs, and unemployed. She decided it was time for a change. Ricki Lake tried many famous diets, which she says were difficult to follow.
I must admit I haven’t seen Hairspray, but I adore Ricki Lake because of Mrs. Winterbourne. In this movie -one of my favorite ones in the love story department- she plays a pregnant, single girl who survives a train crash, and is later mistaken for the daughter in law of Mrs. Winterbourne, wonderfully played by Shirley McLane. By the time this movie was made (1996), despite having already lost 125 lbs, Ricki Lake had to lose an additional 20 lbs.
“I never set out to be a role model for large women. I just do what I feel is right”, said Ricki Lake some time ago. Well, what was Ricki Lake’s weight loss secret, after all? In case you are wondering, there was no liposuction, no diet pills and not training her ass off. In a recent interview with Us Weekly, she said it was all about entering a food delivery program, Fresh Dining. The secret is simple: calorie restriction. If you want to lose weight, there is no need to starve, but you have to stick to a 1,200 calories a day program. The hardest thing to give up was bread, she admits. Nowadays, she weights 120 something pounds, and she finds herself being a new woman. Her whole wardrobe suffered the biggest of changes.
Why I believe Ricki Lake is an example to follow? Because she didn’t go the easy way. She could have played fat girl parts all her life, but she challenged herself to change and she succeeded. Ricki Lake’s weight loss (a healthy weight loss, I may add) is the example for all obese women (and men) that for them it is possible, too.