Marissa Jaret Winokur has defied stereotypes both on and off the stage, proving that success is not measured by the scales.
The actress discussed her 60-pound weight loss today with Amy Robach on “Good Morning America.”
“It wasn’t an overnight thing,” she, 39, said. “I have no sponsor. I’m totally doing it myself. I actually counted calories and worked out. It’s literally 1,200 calories and worked out every day.”
When she was 27, Winokur snagged a Tony award for her Broadway debut in the musical “Hairspray.”
She has since become a Hollywood staple. Known for publicly embracing her curves, Winokur took a turn on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
Several celebrity dancers, including actress Kirstie Alley, have credited the show with their dramatic weight loss, but Winokur didn’t get those results.
“I lost nothing, not a single pound,” she said of her participation on season six of the reality-TV dance competition.
Despite not losing any weight on the show, however, she is still an avid supporter of her former “Dancing” partner, Tony Dovolani.
“Of course, I watch the show,” Winokur said. “I’m voting for Tony Dovolani. I love him. I worked with him for so long. He took me to the semi-finals, which was incredible.”
Winokur said her weight led to her being let go from her hosting duties on “Dance Your A** Off,” a reality-TV dance show on the Oxygen network.
“It was the first anytime anyone had said to me, ‘You’re not good enough,’” she said in an interview on “The Wendy Williams Show.”
She said she’d previously never had trouble getting work as an actress.
Winokur has appeared in several films, including “American Beauty,” ”Never Been Kissed” and “Scary Movie.”
She’s now starring in “Retired at 35,” a sitcom that airs on TV Land.
After battling the scales for years, she got a wake-up call when her doctor expressed concern about her high cholesterol. She started efforts to lose weight in January.
“It feels amazing,” Winokur said. “I did it for health reasons and that’s what really got me started. I just kept losing weight so it just kept working.”
Winokur said the biggest part of weight loss is preparing her life in advance to keep on track.
“The biggest thing is preparing my life,” Winokur said. ”I traveled to come here. I had my 100 calorie microwavable popcorn with me to eat in my hotel room. And I brought hard boiled eggs with me on the plane. I didn’t allow the plane food to get in the way. You’ve got to keep working out. I’m also just mentally like, this is for life.”