Kelly Clarkson has long been the subject of uninvited discussions about her weight: Ever since she shot into the spotlight on the first season of American Idol, fans and media personalities alike have been quick to call out changes in her size and shape. Ugh.
The Voice coach has never shied away from talking about her weight, however, and her honesty about food, body-shamers, and body image is one of the many reasons her fans adore her. Here’s a look back at Kelly’s weight-loss journey so far — in her own words.
On the plan that worked for her:
When Kelly started stepping out for a number of appearances in summer 2018, fans and media personalities alike were quick to notice that she looked slimmer. And during a red carpet interview with Extra at the 2018 CMT Music Awards, she revealed that her weight loss was the result of a restrictive new eating plan.
“I’m not working out!” Kelly said. “I literally read this book … It’s called The Plant Paradox. It’s basically about how we cook our food, non-GMO, no pesticides, eating really organic.” (If you’re curious, here’s what the Good Housekeeping Institute’s nutrition director has to say about the benefits of the plan.)
On why she changed her lifestyle:
Kelly might have lost 37 pounds after changing up her diet, but the singer says that weight loss wasn’t what motivated her lifestyle change — in fact, it was just a “side effect” of her efforts to combat another health issue.
“I had an autoimmune disease and a thyroid problem that started in 2006,” the singer told Hoda Kotb during a June 2018 appearance on the Today show. “I know the industry loves the weight gone, but for me, it wasn’t really (about) the weight. For me, it was ‘I’m not on my medicine any more.'”
On working out:
One of the many reasons we love Kelly is because she keeps it so real on Twitter when it comes to dieting and exercise. “This just in,” she tweeted in November 2018. “I still hate working out. I’m sweaty, red, and not any thinner. People say it’s good for your heart…. but people also say red wine is good for your heart. I mean, I’m just stating facts here people. Who am I to ignore science?!”
On weight fluctuation:
Over the years, Kelly has been criticized, but the singer doesn’t let that noise bother her: “Sometimes we’re more fit. Like, especially me,” she said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGegeneres Show in 2015. “I’m such a creative person that I yo-yo. So sometimes I’m more fit and I get into kickboxing hardcore. And then sometimes I don’t and I’m like … I’d rather have wine.”
On dealing with body-shamers:
Ever since 2002 when she won the first season of American Idol, Kelly has had to deal with nasty body-shamers making comments about her weight. “I was the biggest girl in the [American Idol cast] too,” the singer told Ellen in 2015. “And I wasn’t big, but people would call me big … I’ve kind of always gotten that.”
She then added: “I think what hurts my feelings for people is that I’ll have a meet and greet after the show, and a girl who’s bigger than me will be in the meet and greet and be like, ‘Wow, if they think you’re big, I must be so fat to them.’ And it’s like, you’re just who you are. We are who we are — whatever size.”
On holiday weight gain:
“To the person that lost weight over the holidays…. Don’t worry, I found it and I will get it back to you starting January 1st,” the singer joked on Twitter in December 2018.
On keeping a positive body image:
In a 2018 interview with Redbook, Kelly got real about the pressures that she’s faced as a curvy woman in the spotlight. Whether she’s gaining or losing weight, she said, it seems that people will take issue with her size. “They shame you for [losing weight],” she said. “Same thing happened with Miranda Lambert — I had dinner with her and we were talking about that. She was like, ‘Should I gain? Should I lose?’ But no one actually cares about your health. They just care about aesthetics.”
She continued: “It’s when I’m fat that I’m happy. People think, Oh, there’s something wrong with her. She’s putting on weight. I’m like, ‘Oh, no! I’m sorry, but that represents happiness in my emotional world’ For me, when I’m skinny is usually when I’m not doing well. If you gauge your life on what other people think, you’re going to be in a constant state of panic trying to please everyone. People should just concentrate on their own lives and their own health and their own happiness, and whatever that looks like for you, be happy with it.”