Sheryl Underwood couldn’t stop smiling on the set Conversation As the hosts film season 13 promos — and that’s because she has a lot to celebrate.
Not only will the show have a new theme song and carnival look for the premiere, but the co-host, who is in its twelfth season of the show, has given herself a facelift, dropping 90 lbs. In the last year and a half.
Underwood, 58, remembers receiving bad news from her doctor when she was weighing between 230 pounds. and 250 lbs. “My lab work: diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, all those things you hear, especially with women,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively of her wake-up call. “I really wanted to get ahead of it.”
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The 5’2″ comedian had already started taking Metamucil to help clear out her stomach and give her digestive system a fresh start, but she was also secretly exploring more drastic weight loss options .
“I was going to have a surgery,” Underwood shares through tears. “And when you do it, you have to go to a psychiatrist. You have to go to a dietitian. But because I worked with a dietitian, I lost weight. I didn’t lose a significant amount, but I lost to a point where insurance wasn’t going to pay for it. Then when I was going to have a colonoscopy—I go to see my colon every year, but I went and got an endoscopy—that’s when my other doctor said, ‘I should Got something I want you to try, and if it doesn’t work, we have to go [to gastric bypass surgery],
That “something” was Wegovi, an injection Underwood began taking weekly to help suppress his appetite and begin his weight loss program.
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Cedars Sinai colon and rectal surgeon who treated Underwood, Dr. Zuri A. “Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for a myriad of cancers,” Murrell told People. “Weight loss is very difficult for many patients. [Wegovy] For the treatment of this ‘disease’ our observatory offers another tool. Wegovi targets the areas of the brain that control appetite and food intake, thus reducing the amount of food needed to feel satiated. It also slows down your gastro-intestinal motility making you feel full. There is also some data showing that it stabilizes insulin levels, which is important for weight loss.”
But the injection was only one component of his plan. Underwood, who helps care for her disabled sister, knew she had to work too. So she started making lifestyle changes.
“Definitely getting more sleep,” the Daytime Emmy Award winner says of the adjustments she’s made. “Drinking more water. I’m eating fruits and vegetables I never thought possible: green, leafy. I’m getting more fiber in my diet by eating blueberries and eating strawberries, and with fiber supplements.”
She has made so much progress with portion control that she can even indulge in fast food at times.
Underwood revealed, “If I’m like McDonald’s or Burger King or something like that, now I can eat the equivalent of less than a Happy Meal.” “And I’m not starving.”
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While Underwood started eating well, she also knew she had to keep moving to burn calories.
“You want to hang out,” the actress adds. “But unfortunately, I’m in a career where you drive to work, you sit down and put on your hair and makeup. Sometimes I just get up and walk around, or I’m going to talk on the phone and go to bed.” Try walking around, or I’ll just sit in bed and do something – I can do a little exercise, a little stretching and things. I like the stationary bike because then I can listen to my music and be on the bike.”
By reducing her food intake and increasing her exercise, Underwood has reduced four dress sizes and says she wants to lose another 25 pounds. In the meantime, she continues to do blood work to track her progress.
“I feel amazing when I look at the lab work: normal, normal, normal, working on it,” says Underwood, who hopes to be able to stop taking blood pressure medication soon. “And then I’d call my doctors: ‘What do I need to work on?’ ,
Underwood says one of her biggest goals this season is to celebrate her birthday episode and show off her new figure in a special and meaningful way. “I’ve never worn a dress!” She says, adding that she must be walking in heels too – no doubt with the same proud smile.
Conversation Premieres September 12 on CBS.