The pandemic became a starting point for Maddie Baillio to work on her health and it certainly was time well spent, as she revealed she lost 150 pounds! The 26-year-old actress, who found fame as Tracy Turnblad in the 2016 television special Hairspray Live!, opened up about the journey, saying she lost more than half of what she once weighed after two years of focusing on her wellness.
“I’m in a lovely, healthy relationship with myself and my body and my family and my partner, [boyfriend Solomon Reynolds],” she told People in an interview published on Wednesday, Nov. 9. “I’m in a much more centered, grounded place.”
The attention Maddie gained from playing best friend to Ariana Grande’s Penny Pingleton in Hairspray Live! was parlayed into parts on Netflix’ Dumplin and the remake of Cinderella starring Camila Cabello. However, during the latter production, the star realized she needed to work on her “stamina,” as she was having trouble making it through a dance routine. “I couldn’t keep up with the choreography. I kept losing my breath,” she told the outlet. “We’d have to start reshooting the scene over and over for me.”
With that in mind, she returned to her hometown of Texas at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and decided to make a change. “I had so much free time, so I thought I’m just going to start walking,” she explained. “The sun was so good for my mental health and my physical health. I could walk for 30 minutes to an hour, and then the next week, it was a good two hours. So that’s how it began for me.”
After stepping on the scale, Maddie realized a new sensation: she had control over her body! To keep the momentum going, she stopped eating red meat, went vegan and gave hot yoga a try, which she has documented on her Instagram. Suddenly, the “whole world opened up” for Maddie, but not because of the weight loss, but because she was finally able to “keep up,” per the outlet.
“I’m inspired by the changing mentality,” Maddie continued. “I wanna play my dream roles on Broadway that have nothing to do with my weight. And I definitely see it going that direction.” With things looking up for the star, including her new red-hot romance, she added, “I’m so happy; we’re so happy. Yeah, it’s a really love-filled time in my life.”