When being thin in a family growing up is "prized above all else", there's this little drive in a person to make themselves and their family members proud of how they look. And Chaz Bono, by his own admission, was determined to lose a lot of weight following his gender transition surgery from 2008 to 2010.
Bono is known for being the son of the iconic singing duo, Sonny & Cher, a couple used as a trademark for modern love stories. And when he was part of 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 13, he was ready to make a change in his body weight.
Chaz Bono's gender transition enabled his weight loss campaign as he embarked on a journey to lose 50 pounds in November 2012 and instead lost an impressive 85 pounds (43+17+25 lbs) by November 2013. Of course, dancing & exercise with a proper diet was his secret, as he removed excess skin with surgery as well. But some reports claim he's gained it all back. Is it true?
For his first-ever appearance on 'Dancing with the Stars' in September 2011, Bono was partnered with Lacey Schwimmer, who mentioned how he was so shy at the beginning of practice. But a week before the rehearsals, he was as open and funny as ever. Schwimmer even proclaimed how people would be surprised how quickly he was slimming down at the time.
"When I first met him, he didn't want to do anything that made him look silly," Schwimmer told People. "Now he's all for it. He’s goofing off and he's pretending to be Maks [Chmerkovskiy] in rehearsals. It's really funny."
Bono and Schwimmer finished seventh in the standings.
Photo Credit: Adam Taylor, AP/ABC
Schwimmer also mentions how Bono lost 6 lbs in six days by dancing and nothing else. "He's lost five pounds in six days," she continued. "It's so great. He says he's not eating any differently, he's just dancing."
At the time, he really didn't want to dance to his parents' songs. But of course, the show really wanted exactly that from him.
The stint he had in 'Dancing with the Stars' might've done a little good to help with the weight struggle he had back then. But he wasn't doing anything else seriously enough to really slim down. Although, he was "put on diets all the time" as a kid despite not being overweight. In the end, it was all for his own good.
Cher was not initially thrilled about his sex change.
Photo Credit: Jim Ruymen, Landov
Then in November 2012, he sat down with an ER physician and 'The Doctors' co-host, Dr. Travis Stork, he announced he was making a public attempt to lose weight, an amount recommended as per his weight by the doctor. He assured that he would inform everyone with his weight loss journey along the way. And he did.
At the time, he weighed 250 lbs at the height of 5' 5½'', so he needed to lose at least 50 lbs to maintain that height to weight ratio. If possible, he was recommended to stretch out to lose 80 lbs in total.
That success might not be still with him.
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"That episode was the most uncomfortable I've ever been on television in my life. I had been wanting to lose weight. It was something I had been trying to do and failing at," he later reminisced. "This opportunity just kind of came in, and my initial reaction was 'absolutely not.' And after that, the more I thought about it, I realized I've been wanting to deal with this issue and somebody's willing to help me do it, so I decided to throw my pride away and get help."
Since announcing his 50-lb weight loss plans, he'd lost 43 pounds by February 2013 and was setting a target to further lose weight to make it an even 80-pound loss. He admitted the initial process was not difficult as he lost the extra weight with exercise and the Freshology delivered-meal plan. And no, there involved no starvation of any kind in that time period.
Watch: Bono Appears with a Different Look after Losing 43 Pounds
"I've been sticking to a really strict diet. It's not any type of starvation thing. I'm just cutting out a lot of stuff and eating primarily protein and vegetables and fruit," he told People after the success while admitting the last portion of weight he needs to lost had been harder.
"It's getting harder. I'm just kind of at a little plateau right now, which I think is pretty normal, according to my doctor. The weight was falling off at first, and now it's just coming off slower. The smaller you are, the harder it is to lose weight. The last 10 or 20 lbs. are really hard to get off."
The last few pounds might've been difficult, but he'd already surpassed his target of 50-pound weight loss and even more in two months by mid-April. Talking numbers, he lost 17 more pounds to lose a total of 60 pounds of his body weight. And he didn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
His appearance at the GLAAD Media Awards was the result of his 60-lbs weight loss.
Photo Credit: Jason Merritt, Getty Images
This time too, he lost weight by minding what's on the plate and taking those dance classes. And he was not using the Freshology plan anymore.
"I still enjoy dancing. I still take classes," he People at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in April 2013. "I've just changed the way I eat. Diets don't work. You just have to change what you eat, and I have."
He didn't have a favorite health food either. "I cook a lot of different stuff. I really avoid grains and starches, so meats and vegetables and fruits are my diet. I make them all different ways to keep it interesting."
By November 2013, he was reported to have crossed the upper limit of his recommended weight loss amount. He 165 lbs by that time, losing 85 lbs, according to his words (trust that one). And losing that quickly obviously left some excess skin hanging around. In an interview with Extra TV, he revealed he had it surgically removed. Of course, it was a cosmetic procedure, not a weight loss surgery.
Watch: Chaz Bono Explains His 85-Lbs Weight Loss
And mama Cher was nothing but proud of her baby succeeding in the plan by doing it all by himself. And since that time, he was reported to be hovering around that 165-lb weight when often captured by the cameras.
In his later appearances on various platforms, or just when walking around in, it was noticeable that he'd gained quite some after his success. But there are reports that he'd gained every pound he lost in 2013.
Strolling around with partner Shara Blue Mathes.
Photo Source: Terma, SL/BackGrid
It does show he's been gaining a bit of it back. But if he's really endangering himself again like Radar Online's sources claim he his, only time will tell. But for now, the legacy of losing such an amount of weight is still there to stay.
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