How Hitting the Gym Helped Her Mental Health
Adele, 33, managed to keep her year-plus long health journey under wraps. But now, she’s finally opening up about her 100-pound weight loss, and how it all stemmed from a newfound focus on mental health.
During her “Adele, One Night Only” TV special with Oprah, the musician gave rare insight into her battle with anxiety following her divorce from Simon Konecki and the COVID-19 pandemic. Adele says she turned to exercise for relief, which led to her weight loss. “It really contributed towards me getting my mind right,” she told Oprah.
In an October interview with British Vogue, the “Hello” singer shed even more light on the changes she made to her health—and why she chose to keep her “100-pound” weight loss to herself.
Now, Adele—who was hurt most by the “brutal conversations” other women had about her body, she told Vogue—is pushing back against the reaction to her weight loss. “It’s not my job to validate how people feel about their bodies,” the “Easy on Me” singer told Oprah. “I feel bad if anyone feels horrible about themselves, but that’s not my job. I’m trying to sort my own life out. I can’t have another worry.”
“People are shocked because I didn’t share my ‘journey.’ They’re used to people documenting everything on Instagram, and most people in my position would get a big deal with a diet brand,” she said in the British Vogue interview. “I couldn’t give a flying f**k. I did it for myself and not anyone else. So why would I ever share it? I don’t find it fascinating. It’s my body.”
Despite her changed appearance, Adele assures that she hasn’t changed on the inside. “My body’s been objectified my entire career. It’s not just now,” she told Vogue in a separate interview last month. “I understand why it’s a shock. I understand why some women especially were hurt. Visually I represented a lot of women. But I’m still the same person.”
“You don’t need to be overweight to be body positive. You can be any shape or size,” she continued in British Vogue, and reiterated in her recent interview with Oprah.
Here’s how Adele lost 100 pounds over the past few years to feel her best today, according to the singer herself.
She’s intensified her workouts
Adele told British Vogue she’d become “quite addicted” to working out, because it made her feel good. “I work out two or three times a day,” she said. The singer opts for strength training in the morning, and then in the afternoon she’ll hike or box. At night, she gets her cardio in. “I was basically unemployed when I was doing it. And I do it with trainers,” she said, admitting that this routine is “not very doable for a lot of people.”
Following two slipped discs and a C-section, Adele wanted to focus on feeling stronger—physically and mentally. “She got really turned on to movement, and especially strength training. So turned on that she started doing double sessions,” the singer’s trainer, Gregg Miele, told Vogue. (Adele said she’s probably spent more time with Miele than anyone else over the past three years.)
Adele’s weight loss journey started a few years earlier, though. In a 2016 interview with Vogue, the singer said that she was working out to stay in shape for her performances, which resulted in weight loss. “I was trying to get some stamina for my tour, so I lost a bit of weight. Now I fit into normal, off-the-shelf clothes—which is a really big problem for me!” she shared.
“I’m actually an athlete—I’m not even boasting,” she told Oprah this month. “I’m also a very good boxer. I’ve got a left hook that could kill you. If only at school I hadn’t discovered boys and someone had told me to go and do a bit more PE.”
She does not follow the Sirtfood diet
In January 2020, People reported that Adele has been following a “strict” diet. Other outlets, including Prevention, picked up the story that the star was following the Sirtfood diet, but the singer shut this down to British Vogue. “No. Ain’t done that,” she said.
The star also said she didn’t try intermittent fasting—or any particular diet, for that matter. “If anything I eat more than I used to because I work out so hard,” she said. “That whole thing of like, ‘Gets Revenge Body’ … It’s ridiculous. I think it’s that people love to portray a divorced woman as spinning out of control.”
In fact, Adele isn’t fussy about what she eats; she told Oprah that she loves to eat Chinese food and stopped by McDonald’s the night before their interview. Her favorite order is chicken nuggets, a Big Mac, and fries. “That’s my three-course,” she told British Vogue. “I eat it at least once a week.”
She focuses on being healthy and happy
While some may speculate that Adele’s recent weight loss is due to her breakup, Adele says it’s more to do with being the best mom she can be to son Angelo. “When I was 30, my entire life fell apart and I had no warning of it,” she told British Vogue of her divorce to Konecki.
“I was just going through the motions and I wasn’t happy,” she continued in Vogue. “I want my son to see me really love, and be loved. It’s really important to me.” She says she and Konecki were broken up for some time before they told people. “I’ve been on my journey to find my true happiness ever since,” she said.
When Adele celebrated her 31st birthday, she hinted that she was going through a big period of growth. “I’ve changed drastically in the last couple years and I’m still changing and that’s okay. Thirty-one is going to be a big ol’ year and I’m going to spend it all on myself,” she wrote in an Instagram post at the time.
“For the first time in a decade I’m ready to feel the world around me and look up for once. Be kind to yourself, people, we’re only human, go slow, put your phone down and laugh out loud at every opportunity,” she continued. “Learning to REALLY truly love yourself is it, and I’ve only just realized that that is more than enough.”
Article by NICOL NATALE Associate Editor for Prevention Magazine©