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All the Facts About Jennifer Holliday Weight Loss

Heisenberg Published On Mon Aug 03 2020   Modified On Mon Aug 03 2020
All the Facts About Jennifer Holliday Weight Loss

Grab all the details on the weight loss of the American singer and actress Jennifer Holliday.

Jennifer Holliday is an American singer and actress who is best known for  her debut single, the Dreamgirls number and rhythm-and-blues/pop hit, 'And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going.' For the single, she won a Grammy Award in 1983, and additionally, she also won a 1982 Tony Award for 'Dreamgirls.'

Jennifer Holliday struggled with weight issues in the 80's, the same time when her fame was on the rise. The music industry rejected Jennifer for her size and suffered clinical depression, which led her to attempt suicide at the age of 30. She underwent gastric bypass surgery afterward and lost weight, but when the music industry still did not want her. Here's the story of how she dealt with depression, weight issues, and even multiple sclerosis (M.S.) - a disease that at one point left her blinded and unable to walk and overcame it all.

Jennifer Holliday's Major Life Change Came From Her Weight Loss

Jennifer Holliday's depression began early in her days in Dreamgirls. 'When I was suffering from depression, people weren't talking about depression, 'she told People. 'It had a stigma. Nobody asked me about it.' And that also led her to start gaining weight and experiencing mood swings. The mood outbursts made it even more difficult for her to work with people.

Jennifer Holliday lost 124 pounds through gastric bypass surgery.

Jennifer Holliday lost 124 pounds through gastric bypass surgery.
Source: Orange County Register

On her 30th birthday, Jennifer Holliday attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills. She was fortunately rescued and spent three healing months in a sanatorium. During that time, she realized she needed to lose weight, which she considered her major problem. 'I had thought I was really ugly,' she said. 'I had just been dropped by my record company because they called me too unattractive and not marketable. They were like, 'We can't make a music video of you.' I told the doctor, 'That's the reason for my problems. My record company dropped me, I can't get a boyfriend — that's the reason! I'm too big.'

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At the time, Jennifer weighed around 400 pounds and needed a drastic change to drop weight. She underwent gastric bypass surgery and became one of the first people to do so as the procedure was in its initial experimental phases. She succeeded in losing 124 pounds after the surgery.

Jennifer Holliday Was Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) in 1999

Jennifer's weight loss did not help her at a professional level at all. The music companies, this time, wanted her to be small and were not willing to work with her new look and attitude. For three years, she was without work and friends. But she was happy with her new body shape, loved the way she looked.

Jennifer Holliday was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) in 1999.

Jennifer Holliday was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) in 1999.
Source: NPR

In 1999, Jennifer Holliday was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the time when David E. Kelley cast her in an acclaimed recurring guest spot on 'Ally McBeal.' But she was already showing the symptoms of the illness for six years prior to the diagnosis. 'For a long time they thought I had lupus, then they thought I had something else,' she said in an interview with People. 'Finally, when I couldn't walk, they did a spinal tap and conclusively diagnosed me with M.S.' The disease left her unable to walk and function and even left her blind.

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Even though M.S. has no cure, Jennifer was able to treat the disease after trying hard for a long time to fight the illness. She can move now, and her vision gradually returned seven months after going blind. Jennifer credits her physical and mental recovery to positive thinking and attitude that she developed later in life. Such a look into life really helped her appreciate and be grateful for the things she had.

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