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Amber Riley | Source: Getty Images
Amber Riley | Source: Getty Images

Therapy Kick-Started Amber Riley's Weight Loss Journey

Jana Stevens
Oct 27, 2023
01:15 P.M.

The media and public have carefully chronicled Amber Riley's weight loss and gain since her breakout role as Mercedes in "Glee." A winning turn on a reality show helped her with her body image.

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Amber Riley took a holistic approach to her health, taking her social media fans along the journey. She makes uplifting exercise videos and shares some of her favorite recipes.

Her changing shape has influenced how people interact with her, which she called out in a viral post in 2022. The performer's comfort level with a certain garment has inspired a business venture.

Amber Riley attends Elton John AIDS Foundation's 31st annual academy awards viewing party on March 12, 2023, in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Amber Riley attends Elton John AIDS Foundation's 31st annual academy awards viewing party on March 12, 2023, in West Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Amber Riley Cites 'Consistency' as Key to Weight Loss

The "Christmas Déjà Vu" star told Jason Lee in March 2023 that there is "no secret way to lose weight;" one needs "discipline and consistency." She clarified how she got on a better path five years prior:

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"When I started therapy, that is when I really started taking my health seriously."

She also went for blood tests, checked her hormones, and looked into which food she might be allergic to, which could cause bloating or upset her stomach.

Amber Riley attends the Los Angeles premiere of "Tanzania: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios on April 21, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Amber Riley attends the Los Angeles premiere of "Tanzania: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios on April 21, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Riley stopped "paying attention to the scale" but did not avoid the gym. The singer changed her relationship with food and started cooking instead of eating out.

Before the show, she lost two dress sizes.

In the caption of her chicken salad recipe video posted in February 2023, she said in the caption that she does not diet. "I DO listen to my body and eat intuitively," the singer explained, adding that she no longer overindulges.

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Amber Riley performs on "Dancing With the Stars," on May 20, 2014. | Source: Getty Images

Amber Riley performs on "Dancing With the Stars," on May 20, 2014. | Source: Getty Images

The Impact of 'DWTS' on Amber Riley

At the end of 2022, Riley recalled how she "suffered" online scrutiny while on "Glee," with her body always being a "topic of conversation."

Going on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2013, which she eventually won with partner Derek Hough, she learned to love her body and performed in all her "glory."

Before the show, she lost two dress sizes after changing her eating habits after she experienced stomach issues. The rigorous "DWTS" training schedule helped her shed a few more pounds, but she was more grateful for how she could inspire others to take up dance and exercise classes.

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Amber Riley Is 'Grateful' for Her Life

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Following years of being uncomfortable in shorts and showing her thighs, Riley now consciously shows herself in the form-fitting garment as she wants to love every part of herself.

She mused mid-2023 that after five years of "ups and downs, pain, failures, and triumphs," people only ask her about her shots, so she set up an online store to sell them.

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In June 2022, she blasted men who have known her for years, suddenly sliding into her DMs now that she has slimmed down. The actress told them to keep their "fatphobic energy" as nothing had changed but the scale.

"Someone commented that they noticed my 'happy weight gain,' all I heard was y'all see how HAPPY I AM," she captioned a post in April 2023 with images taken by her boyfriend of her modeling a lacy bra with jeans. "Life isn't perfect, but I'm grateful for mine."

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