'Hairspray' actor reflects on losing 50 pounds in the last 6 months

The "Hairspray" star was inspired to get healthy when she realized she was high-risk for serious COVID-19 complications.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Rachel Paula Abrahamson

Marissa Jaret Winokur has debuted a nearly 50-pound weight loss.

In a lengthy Instagram, featuring before-and-after photos, Winokur, 47, revealed that her wellness journey began in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.

“I checked off all the boxes, I am HIGH RISK !” the “Dancing with the Stars” alum wrote.

That scary realization is what inspired Winokur, a cervical cancer survivor, to start working out over Zoom with Los Angeles- based trainer Keith Anthony. She also made changes to her diet.

Winokur noted that she “needed something to focus on” and “to have a goal” while in quarantine.

“6 months later I have lost almost 50 pounds. We have been here before,” Winokur wrote, referencing her 60-pound weight loss in 2012.

“I was scared to post photos, it’s really one day at a time for me when it comes to food,” Winokur admitted. But in the end, she shared the images in hopes of inspiring others to take care of themselves during COVID-19 uncertainty.

Winokur, who regularly works out with kettlebells and resistance bands, is loving how her clothes fit, but she’s most excited about her improved mental and physical health. The 4-foot-11 actress no longer suffers from asthma and has learned to manage her anxiety with exercise.

Winokur acknowledged that losing weight doesn’t make her immune to COVID-19.

“But getting my self as strong as possible to fight it at least makes me FEEL like I am doing something,” she wrote. “It makes me FEEL like if I can kick cancers ass I can do this too. Thank you for always being a part of my YO-YO journey. I can only say Today I feel strong. Today I feel like I can do anything."

There's some evidence that obesity itself can increase the likelihood of serious complications from a coronavirus infection. NBC News reported that one study of more than 5,200 infected people, found that the chances of hospitalization rose for those with higher BMIs, even when taking into account other conditions that could put them at risk.