While actress and former talk show host Ricki Lake may have lost nearly 20 pounds since the start of her appearances in ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," her weight battles are not over, as obesity is something the actress has had to combat since childhood and struggled with throughout her career.
"I wasn't educated about food and portion control, and I was also the victim of sexual abuse," said Lake in an interview earlier this year on ABC's "The View," explaining the factors she believed led to her obesity.
"It happened at a certain age when I was really young and a couple of years after that is when I started to put on the weight," she said, referring to the sexual abuse she encountered.
Last year, the actress, most known for her role as the overweight Tracy Turnblad in the 1988 production of "Hairspray," became an advocate for healthy lifestyles by launching her own weight loss program called AllStride, which offers resources and support to families and children struggling to combat childhood obesity.
In addition, Lake partnered with Dr. John Monaco to publish a book entitled Too Small to be Big: The Allstride Solution, which offers solutions to helping children lose weight, education about healthy foods and explanations for why dieting does not work.
"Everyone talks about the problem, but no one talks about the solution," Lake said. "I've brought together the best people in an online community for young people and their families. It is the real deal and really one of the only solutions out there. We have kids that have changed not only physically, but internally. When you're a child and you're not picked on the basketball team and you're teased and suddenly you lose 25 pounds, it changes your life."
The 43-year-old actress said that her weight loss from "Dancing With the Stars" is much different from the crash dieting she did years ago to get herself down to 120 pounds because she is not only eating healthier, but the vigorous dance routines are helping to tone her muscles.
"I'm definitely a size six now," Lake said on the show. "I'll probably be a size 4 by the end of it. It's come to the point where it doesn't matter. I no longer wear Spanx."