K.J. Smith didn’t gain the dreaded “quarantine 15,” while social-distancing during the pandemic, but the Sistas actress knows what it’s like for her weight to fluctuate. “I may not have gained the ‘quarantine 15,’ but I’ve definitely gained the quarantine five and 10 every now and then,” she joked.
“I think our minds get bored, so we’re like ‘eat food.’ Food is an activity now, it’s not just for survival anymore. So when there’s a celebration people eat, when people are happy they eat, when they are anxious they eat so I think finding hobbies really helps to eliminate eating just for the sake of eating.”
A few weeks ago, the talented actress posted a before and after photo that showed off her inspiring weight loss journey through the years. K.J. knew she had to make a lifestyle change based on her family’s history with certain food-related illnesses.
“I have a family who unfortunately suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension,” she revealed. “I had to take a hard look at myself and ask ‘Is this what I want to be in 40 years or even right now’?” Answering her own question, she replied, “No.”
“My ‘why’ is for my legacy, it’s for my future kids. I want to have a family, so I have to stay healthy for them. It starts to be about more than just yourself you know and that creates a strong why.”
And how does she keep it off? Yoga, African dance class and meditation for self-care, of course.
“I’m doing my best with the rest of the world by trying to meditate and spend time with my family as often as I can,” she admitted. “I’ve recently picked up a practice of yoga, because it just requires you to be more zinc and be more present in your breath. That’s been my go to!”
Adopting 30-minute routines also helped K.J. keep the weight off. “I like to burn fast and finish soon. Most recently, I started taking classes in Kukura fitness. I love them, they teach African dances and they share where the dances originated from.”
K.J.’s bangin’ physique is just one aspect of her character Andy on Tyler Perry’s latest hit show. She admits she is very much like the aspirational attorney (though she’s never been in a relationship as messy).
“I can relate with being in love with a man who is going through it,” she said. “I have learned from Andy to ask for help more and to set stronger boundaries with myself. Andy has taught me so much, that I’ve actually grown from bringing her character to life.”
As for the holidays, K.J. plans to spend them with family.
“Thanksgiving I will spend with my ‘LA family,” she revealed. “Christmas I will spend with my relatives. My mom is obsessed with the holidays! I’m not crazy about New Year’s, but I love all the other holidays and of course my favorite holiday is my birthday. Lol!
Catch K.J. Smith on Sistas every Wednesday on BET.