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From Skinny Apprentice to Too Busy to Exercise


When I graduated in 1992 from the Rayen High School in Youngstown, Ohio, I never imagined that my body would change so drastically. In high school I was in tip-top shape.  I was an athlete, a member of both my high school volleyball and track teams. I loved working out and maintaining my fitness goals.

Fast forward 20 years later and I can barely squeeze a workout into my daily schedule. I have converted to a vegetarian diet for the past year, yet I am still gaining weight and my metabolism seems to have slowed to a stand still. I also had to deal with the tragic loss of my brother Jack six months ago and I really have not been motivated to work out since his death. Instead I eat to comfort myself whenever I get depressed.

If I eat a heavy meal, which is often these days, I gain weight soon after. Additionally, my job as a magazine editor requires that I attend many lunches and dinners and it can be hard to explain to clients that I don't want to eat at 10 p.m. I love to cook and when I do I manage to eat healthy meals. The challenge comes when I am on the road. The options for a vegetarian can be limited to none in some places.

I am determined to shed 15 to 20 pounds before my 20th high school reunion in the fall. It’s not that I want to impress my classmates; it’s a personal mission. I will be consulting with my physician to determine a healthy goal weight. I want to get my body, and my health, back on track. And I want to get into high school shape again!

I am very excited to be sharing this personal fitness journey with SHAPE readers. There are no more excuses—I am ready to lose the weight for good!

Omarosa Manigault is the West Coast Editor of Reality Weekly Magazine and is known as the "Queen of Reality,” having appeared on more than 20 reality shows in the last decade.  She has previously worked in the CNN Washington, D.C. newsroom and currently serves as an Executive Education Professor at the Howard University School of Business, also in DC. You can find her at or on twitter @OMAROSA.


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