Lea Michele on her metabolism: ‘Toward my 30th birthday, everything just halted’

Lea Michele is so extra, like all the time. I have to give her props for owning that though, and for not dimming her light to be more likable. Also she seems to have zero issues with self esteem, which is something I would like to achieve, with a bit more humility. Anyway she’s covering Health Magazine, where she’s getting the most coverage for talking about her battle with polycystic ovary syndrome. That’s a hormonal condition which can cause weight gain, irregular periods and hair growth on the face. It sounds awful and I’m lucky not to have had that. Lea called the side effects brutal and said she first noticed that she wasn’t able to eat whatever she wanted around the age of 30.

When did you start focusing on taking the best possible care of yourself?
My wellness journey began when I was doing Glee. During season 2, I started realizing I can’t have eight coffees a day—it makes me feel jittery and not good. I can’t have craft services late at night. Yes, it might fill me up, but if I’m eating a certain type of food that’s not going to give me the fuel I need, it’s going to make me tired in an hour. Our schedule doing that show was insane; it was, like, 17 hours a day—dance rehearsals, recording studio, everything. I started to learn that the better I was eating and the better I was taking care of myself, the better I was looking and performing and feeling. From there, it just started to snowball.

In what ways did it snowball?
I became obsessed with learning what was best for me, whether it was a workout or a type of cleanse. It continued to grow, and I realized I have this opportunity to share what I was learning with my fans on social media. I started Wellness Wednesdays sharing the things I was learning. Now, I feel like I am at the healthiest place in my entire life. It’s not that I’m the thinnest, because I’m not the thinnest I’ve been. But when I was the thinnest, I was not being the healthiest. I’m definitely the most mentally, physically, and spiritually sound that I’ve ever been.

Let’s talk working out! Have you always been active?
Yes, especially living in New York. And I was always able to eat what I wanted. But when I finished Glee and crept toward my 30th birthday, everything just halted. Around that same time, I also found out that I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which is a very common condition. The side effects can be brutal—like weight gain and bad skin. I think because of my age, that diagnosis, and the fact that I wasn’t working a job that kept me dancing every single day, I needed to integrate some sort of more formal workouts. I realized that I like workouts with a spiritual element—whether it’s SoulCycle or hot yoga.

[From Health]

How is Soul Cycle spiritual? I do similar spin classes and they’re loud and shouty, but I digress. Lea told Health that she was able to manage her PCOS through diet and that birth control saved her skin in her teens. They also have a brief video with her where she praises her friends for having careers and being moms and calls them her “emotional crutches.” As for what she said about her diet, that’s very true as you age. Due to our activity levels, hormones making us hungry and how busy we are we just end up gaining gradually and it’s hard to keep it off. It gets worse like every 5-10 years and I don’t even have a medical condition to cite, except menopause. That is bearing down on me like a FedEx truck on the highway. Working out a lot and tracking what I eat helps. I sound like Lea Michele don’t I? That’s why she bugs, I try so hard not to lean into my type-A personality.

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16 Responses to “Lea Michele on her metabolism: ‘Toward my 30th birthday, everything just halted’”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    Wait till she hits 40! She’ ain’t seen nothing yet.

    • Renee says:


    • Porter says:

      I didn’t want to be the one to say it. 😂 I’ll be 40 in November and the past year has been a whole giant serving of wtf!

      • Anne Call says:

        Oh the 40’s get tough, but wait until menopause. Ugh and double ugh. So hard to just maintain, forget about losing anything…

    • Dazed and Confused says:

      No jokes. I had my hysterectomy at the same time and WOWZA! It was like my metabolism just threw in the towel and said, “we got you this far, lady. you are on your own now.” It’s been brutal. I am closer to 50 now and I sincerely hope there are no more of these surprises on the horizon.

  2. Valiantly Varnished says:

    This is why I simply can’t with SoulCycle and it’s adherents (besides the Trump supporting). They literally think a spin class qualifies as being “spiritual”.

    • Lolo says:

      I think it’s kind of sad. A lot of people are missing some spiritual element in their life – whatever that looks like, whether inside or outside of organized religion – and seem to try and be filling the hole with glorified workout classes. That’s part of the appeal of these places, the faux spiritual elements, but I don’t think they’re really meeting any real needs.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good workout class, but SoulCycle? Really?

  3. Ronaldinhio says:

    Why are we still hearing about her? Certainly in the UK she has been benched since Glee.

  4. Abby says:

    I’m almost 40, I have PCOS and hypothyroidism…I work out and eat a strict keto diet (don’t hate me) but even on that I lose very slowly. Lea reminds me of Carrie Underwood in that they are both so self-absorbed and seeking perfection that the slightest difference in their body warrants pointing it out to all of us so they can know that WE know there was some obstacle to maintaining their outward perfection….when really there is usually no discernible difference. I can’t.

    • Dazed and Confused says:

      I eat a strict keto diet also – for very similar reasons. I was 39 when I had a hysterectomy due to crippling endometriosis. So…instant surgical menopause, which sends your body into a tailspin. My thyroid stopped working and I have Hashimoto’s to go with the surgical menopause…and I’m now 48. The ONLY thing that allows me to lose weight is keto. Everything else – and I tried everything – just put more weight on. Like I was a tick that hit an artery. On the plus side, I am not in constant pain from endometriosis any longer.

      I wish you luck on your journey. I hope you are able to find what works for you.

  5. Lex says:

    She was great in Scream Queens!

    • ME says:

      I miss that show, wish it didn’t get cancelled.

      • Lex says:

        Season 1 was amazing. The one liners were so great. I laugh when I hear backstreets back aa it reminds me of the baseball bat red car scene omg.

        Chad Radwell for life!
        Especially loved Emma Roberts hahah
        Omg and Chanel 3

  6. JanetFerber says:

    I retired two years ago and, honestly, not dealing with the hustle and stress of work has meant all the difference (don’t hate me, I’m 58). Diet, exercise and truly focusing on myself have all helped. Sure, I have medical conditions, which I’m trying to manage (as we all do). And there is still stress. Got kids? But a well-earned retirement (if you can afford it and I know many cannot) can be really, really helpful.

  7. Shannon says:

    I’m sorry for her diagnosis and I rarely pay attention to her, so she doesn’t really bug me. But all I could think when I saw that pic of her in the swimsuit was, “Really? THAT’S not your skinnies?” Honestly, unless a celeb has actually gained noticeable weight, I wish they would just stfu about their supposedly slowing metabolisms.

  8. Dani says:

    She’s really very pretty. I don’t like her at all on a personal level but I think she’s gorgeous. It slowly starts before 30 though – I think it starts at 28 and by 29 you’re noticing the extra lbs here and there, and then 30 bam. My husband went from 150 lbs at 25 to 190 at 32 and he’s sooo upset about it.