Marissa Jaret Winokur Says Her Anxiety and Asthma Have Improved Since 50-Lb. Weight Loss

Marissa Jaret Winokur is opening up about her decision to take her health more seriously during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In clips from Wednesday's upcoming episode of The Dr. Oz Show, the Hairspray star, who recently lost 50 lbs., tells host Dr. Mehmet Oz that she decided in March to exercise more and eat healthier due to being at a “higher risk” of complications if she were to contract COVID-19.

“What happened was my doctors told me back in March and they told me, you're a high risk, you cannot get this. You have asthma, you have pre-existing conditions with cancer and asthma, and my lungs, and I was significantly overweight," Winokur, 47, recalls. "So they were basically like, I checked every box."

"Basically, I said, 'What can I control?' " she adds. "I can't control that I already had cancer and I can't control that I have asthma and lung issues. The one thing I can do on those boxes is try to take care of my weight. So I started walking and eating healthy, and just trying to take control of that. [I started] running, and there I am, running.”

Winokur — who had cervical cancer at age 27 — says that she's seen huge improvements in her asthma since she started eating healthier and exercising.

"I've been asthmatic since I was a child, but when I am eating right and working out and putting exercise into my lungs, my asthma isn't that bad," she explains. "My asthma, I don't wake up feeling like I'm gasping for air, which is so wonderful and my stomach doesn't hurt because I didn't eat foods that made my stomach hurt at night."

Winokur says her healthy lifestyle has also eased her anxiety. "Working out really helps my anxiety level and being trapped at home, I could have done one of two things. I could absolutely have just stayed home and be sad or — try to start walking. I do say that I really started slow. I definitely started slow and walked before I ran," she shares.

The Celebrity Big Brother winner says her best advice for those who want to lose weight is to "Be kind to yourself. Take it slow. You can do it," Winokur says.

"If you mess up one day, so what? Just take it slow and be kind and do it for yourself. Do it for that girl that wants or a man that wants to feel strong and confident and that they can conquer anything," she adds. "I beat cancer 20 years ago and I'm going to beat COVID if I get it. I've decided that because I'm getting myself as strong as possible. Just be kind and do it for the right reasons.”

Winokur's full interview on The Dr. Oz Show airs Wednesday (check local listings).

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