“You know I wanted to look good for my wedding,” she says with a laugh. “I have a closetful of clothes of all different sizes. And I have some that I call my ‘Oprah clothes.’ Remember when she came out on stage dragging a wagon full of fat? I have a fantasy of doing the same thing!”
She was so impressed with her new favorite exercise that she was the keynote speaker at the annual Zumba convention in Orlando.
Shepherd is diabetic, which sometimes makes the weight loss a little bit more complicated. But she’s been able to push through.
“If I didn’t have diabetes, I would probably be at the International House of Pancakes eating a stack of pancakes with butter and syrup,” says Shepherd, 46. “I would probably be 250 pounds. I would not be going to the doctor. I probably wouldn’t be married to my husband, Lamar Sally. I wouldn’t be healthy for my son, Jeffrey.”
Shepherd details her struggles with diabetes and the changes she made in her life in her new book, Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don’t Have It), written with Billie Fitzpatrick.
What are the diabetes-management rules that she lives by?
1. Find a doctor who challenges you.
“My mom died of diabetes complications when she was 41. When I was 40, my doctor told me, ‘I don’t know when you’re going to have a stroke, but it’s going to happen.’ That was my wake-up call.”
2. Scare yourself.
“Diabetes makes you feel like you’re in a fog. I needed clarity because I was about to join The View and sit at a table with four formidable women. So I vowed to get healthy and strut my stuff in a swimsuit on TV. It worked: I lost 10 inches in three months.”
3. Will yourself to work out.
“My trainer — who I like to call the evil one — and I do intervals three times a week. He puts that sucker on a crazy level-12 incline at 4.6 miles per hour, then varies the incline until I feel like I’m going to fly right off.”