American Idol’s Mandisa Shares Her Remarkable Weight-Loss Journey


mandisa before afterNo one can can forget Mandisa, from Season five of the popular Fox show, American Idol. Now a successful gospel singer, she is the young woman who was subjected to some of the then judge, Simon Cowell’s piercing brand of hurtful critique.

Says Mandisa,

“When I auditioned for ‘American Idol’ Simon Cowell told me I had a pretty face and I was so happy that he didn’t talk about my weight…But when I was home watching the auditions with my friends he made a comment like, ’We’re going to have to build a bigger stage,’ and my heart broke. Right then me and my friends prayed that God would have mercy on him and give me the strength to forgive him and I did.”

On how to start your weight loss journey if you have made several attempts and failed, Mandisa suggests starting slowly. She says,

“Try cutting out soda and drink water instead and have more fruits and vegetables.”

Mandisa also shares that you must find peace with not only a healthier body, but mind as well.

“More importantly, beyond healthy eating and exercise is the mental and emotional health…I’m a food addict, and just like an alcoholic, I tend to bury my troubles in something else. So even if I had lost the weight years ago, which I did, it would always come back until I learned to deal with my issues.”

The singing star also emphasizes letting go of yo-yo diets and being honest and realistic.

“The most weight I ever lost on the Hallelujah Diet was 70 pounds, which was essentially a vegan diet with no white flour, no dairy, no meat and lots of fruits and vegetables…I tried to convince myself that I could eat like that for the rest of my life but it was a lie.”

Mandisa says its a good idea to add variety to your workout.

“You have to learn to mix things up and not allow our body to get used to one thing because it needs to be challenged.”

In the end, while weight loss happens in the body, it’s important to realize that it has to happen mentally and emotionally as well.

Says, Mandisa,

“Once I’ve achieved my goal, because I still have a long way to go, I’m done and any rewards I receive from my improved health will be for the rest of my life. It’ll be my personal congratulations to myself on making a [mental]change now.”




  1. gwendolyn byrd on

    Mandisa, you have always inspired me with your loving and forgiving heart. I find you now showing GODS goodness in your weight loss journey because it reflects inside and out, what’s more it encourage me to aspire to go on my weight loss journey, thank you and GOD bless you always.

  2. Love your music! About 6 years ago, I saw you at a Women of Faith event in Lynchburg, VA. I was inspired by your music and the fact that you were a plus-size woman using her God-given talents. I have been inspired by your weightloss and how you continue to soar in the music industry.

  3. Mandisa, I love you music and you testimony! I teach Character Education at a public elementary school and I use your American Idol story and your music in my Forgiveness lesson. The kids love it! Thank you for being an inspiration!
    God Bless You!
    Shari Clines
    ps. I got to see you at Chick Fil A on 1488 in Magnolia! Thanks for doing that!

  4. I remember watching you on American Idol, I loved your voice and strength. I heard of your weight loss afterwards and wondered if you were still the same person. I got the honor of seeing for myself at “Girls night out” in Tennessee, that you HAD changed. You were stronger and full of life and faith. I had so much fun! I laughed, cried and felt so much of Gods presence that night. You give me hope and encouragement. I got to meet you and talk to you, you are such a sweet woman. You complimented my hair and I think I’ve told everyone a hundred times already,lol. You were just amazing. I had my picture took with you and my “Stronger” shirt autographed. My Sister and Cousin was with me and we all enjoyed ourselves and thank God for that night out, it was full of love, faith and laughter. Thank you for being “You”.


  5. Congratulations on your weight loss accomplishment! It truly is the journey of a lifetime, please stay the course!

  6. I remember that nite when Simon said that I was like really did he just say that, it's funny how all the people he has put down have gone on from that and have become a bigger star than american idol could or would ever been for these people like jennifer hudson look at her now, rueben look at him, This is the deal we are made in all shapes and sizes and no matter what and individual looks like people need to keep their personal comments to themselves……

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