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How Ricki Lake Revved Up Her Metabolism and Dropped 140 Lbs
After a lifetime's worth of weight struggles, the entertainer and mom of two shocked everyoneincluding herselfwhen she revealed the real Ricki to be a size-4 hottie
As any dieter knows, time isn't exactly on your side when it comes to watching your weight with each passing year, it gets tougher to keep the number on the scale from inching up. So by the time Ricki Lake hit 38, things seemed about as good as they were gonna get.
After all, the 5-foot-4 actress, who rose to fame playing chubby teenager Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 nonmusical film Hairspray, had managed to hold steady at around 150 lbs. 110 lbs. less than she weighed at her all-time high of 260 lbs. at age 21 for more than 15 years.
Yet in the shadow of her 39th birthday, things took an unexpected turn: Ricki shed an additional 30 lbs., transforming herself into a bona fide size-4 babe.
"I always used to say, 'Im a big-boned girl,?" says Ricki. "Ive realized that my bones are a lot smaller than I thought."
The Power of DenialAfter Hairspray turned her into an overnight sensation at 18, Rickis mantra became "Im big, blonde and beautiful" at least for a while. "I thought I was the cutest thing alive," she says, "and I was fat." But then, "between the ages of 18 and 21, it got not so cute anymore."
The job offers stopped rolling in, and the crash dieting began. (Ricki tried the Zone and Atkins, among many others.) When she landed her own talk show in 1992, at the age of 24, the entertainer lost 100 lbs. to prepare.
"I was starving myself. I was fainting," she says. "It was effective, but it wasnt the healthiest way to do it." Over the next decade-plus when she gave birth to sons Milo, 10, and Owen, 6, both with ex-husband, artist and illustrator Rob Sussman, 40 Ricki hovered consistently around a size 10.
Even a recent relationship with fitness expert Apollo Yiamouyiannis didnt make a dent in her waistline. "Whats so funny is that my ex-boyfriend of three years was a trainer and I never worked with him," she says.
Health as a HabitMotivation finally arrived in the form of a new film project, The Business of Being Born a documentary about the virtues of natural at-home childbirth, which opened in theaters this past January. Ricki executive-produced and starred in the movie, which includes graphic home-video footage of her own 2001 midwife-assisted delivery of Owen.
To promote such a personal film, "my publicist said I needed to be in the best shape possible," confirms the actress. So she decided to take action well before the movies debut at New York Citys Tribeca Film Festival in April 2007. "I wanted to feel great in my skin when I walked down the red carpet," she says.
In February 2007, Ricki embarked on a 1,200- to 1,400-calorie-per-day eating plan incorporating a balanced blend of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. To ease the transition, she signed up with Fresh Dining, a daily food-delivery service in Southern California ($46 per day for three meals, a snack and dessert).
A typical day's menu for Ricki might consist of yogurt with granola for breakfast, smoked turkey breast and mixed greens for lunch, an apple with soy nut butter as a snack, roasted chicken for dinner and a grilled peach for dessert. Philip Goglia, Ricki's nutritionist and author of the fat-burning primer Turn Up the Heat, says keeping her daily calorie intake consistent which ensures her metabolism is working at maximum efficiency has also been crucial to Rickis success.
"Fat is like butter it only melts in a hot environment that burns steadily," he notes. In two months, Ricki dropped 24 lbs., and the remaining 6 lbs. soon followed. And by working out with a trainer three times weekly, and swimming
and hiking near her Los Angeles home, Ricki has maintained her sleek physique for nearly a year.
With Hollywood still buzzing about her new bod, the late-blooming, currently single mom is finally coming to terms with her self-image. "When I was bigger, I did not want to look in the mirror," says Ricki. "I am at a point now where I love the way I look. It is so much more than my body I feel like it is something internal. This is as good as it gets."