Four years after Carnie Wilson had the stomach-stapling procedure that cut her weight in half, the singer feels so confident that she's going to pose in Playboy magazine.
Wilson has been busy on the lecture circuit since her weight dropped from a high of more than 300 pounds to 150 pounds. In fact, she's told her story so often that she worries that she's sounding like a broken record. "People are probably [saying], 'So! All right, she lost the weight, now shut up! Can we talk about something else?' "
Now she will appear nude in a photo spread in Playboy magazine. Wilson, 35, says she was amazed when she learned the magazine wanted to feature her.
"I got a phone call from my manager," she said. "He said, 'Are you sitting down? … Playboy wants you.' And I said, 'Do you have the right phone number?' "
Posing in Playboy is a message, Wilson says.
"This is my redemption. This is for all the women who are ashamed out there," she said. "I'm saying, 'You can do it. You can let go. You can let go and be free. And do whatever the hell you want.' "
‘She’s Too Fat’
The daughter of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, Wilson was one-third of the multiplatinum-selling pop group Wilson Phillips. The group sold millions of records but spilt up in the early '90s.
For a while, things looked bad for Wilson. As her weight ballooned to more than 300 pounds, she was often choking in her sleep.
Overweight and unemployed, she was unable to get a record deal. Wilson believes her weight may have been an issue, and that record executives wrote her off because she was too fat.
She was frustrated by the rejections. "They didn't say, 'She can't sing.'"
Then, in August 1999, she had her stomach stapled. The procedure drastically reduced the amount of food her stomach could hold.
After dropping 150 pounds, she battled depression. But then Wilson began lecturing around the country, inspiring others to eat healthily and turn their lives around.
Wilson says she wants to continue lecturing, but she's now ready to take on new challenges. "I'm really sort of emerging out of a cocoon that I was living in — you know, a shell — and coming out on my own. … I'm not the Gastric Bypass Girl. I'm Carnie."
A New Beginning
Now Wilson is ready to make another big leap. In the next few months, she will release a solo CD and publish a new book called I'm Still Hungry.
This CD will be her first solo album. Wilson is very excited because she got to work with a longtime friend, composer Diane Warren.
She was especially enthusiastic after rehearing a song with Warren.
"It's a great song about not needing somebody else to fill you up inside," she said.
Wilson particularly likes one line: "I don't need you to tell me I'm pretty to make me feel beautiful."
"That's the lyric that, I went, 'Oh boy, that's the song.' You know, that's the one to sing. It's a great message."