Retta got super honest about dieting, weight loss, and finding confidence through fashion

Retta is one of the best dressed actresses in the biz: the actress pairs bright, bold colors with statement necklaces like a pro, and don’t even get us started on her fabulous handbag collection. But Retta wasn’t always the fashionista she is today. (Or, to use her terms: “a fashion plate” and “the diva of swagu.”) In her honest and hilarious new memoir, So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know, she opens up about how in time, she discovered her own unique style and felt empowered through fashion.

Retta says that for years, she hid in a uniform of slacks and button-downs because that’s what she thought looked best on her figure. She didn’t think dresses, skirts, or jeans would look quite right. But then, as she began attending more and more red carpet events, a friend introduced her to Dressbarn, and her love affair with fashion began.

“It was an emotional moment looking at myself in the mirror, loving the way my body looked in a dress I chose because I liked it and not because it hid me. I looked like I had a shape! A shape other than that of a cube,” Retta writes in her memoir. “I looked good and I liked it. After discovering Dressbarn, I fucking went nuts. I finally got a taste of what many women experience when shopping, that adrenaline rush that comes with getting something perfect and new and I wanted more more MORE.”

Before discovering Dressbarn, Retta says she only shopped at Lane Bryant and thought she had very limited clothing options. She also points out that sadly, many department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s have stopped carrying a wide range of plus-size clothing. But as her eyes opened to the world of fashion, she discovered even more labels. And her favorites include Ashley Stewart, ASOS, SimplyBe, and

Retta also writes about dieting and working out. She recalls a time when she became very into fitness (and worked out in Josh Gad’s pool, but that’s a story for another time). At one point, she lost 50 pounds and dropped from a size 28 to a size 18.

Now, Retta maintains a size 22, and she’s comfortable with that. She balances making smart food choices with eating what she wants. (“I’m lactose intolerant but if you told me I could’t have cheese ever again, I would slap you in your face.”)

"The biggest lesson I've learned from this whole ordeal is that what I really want is not the skinniest body, it's to live a life where I can just be a normal human being," Retta writes. "You have to be happy in your regular life or you're not going to survive the journey toward a goal. It's the same with weight loss, you still have to be content. If you're miserable the whole time, it's gonna be too hard. You'll get to that point where you say 'fuck it' and go ham on the entire contents of your fridge. I had to come to a place in my mind where I'm okay with where I'm at. Once you do that, the good stuff happens. You present as more confident to the world."

Retta learned to be happy in her own skin and how to look like a fashion plate at the same time.

"I've made peace with my body," Retta writes. "I can't say every day when I wake up I'm happy with my body, but I can say that every day when I wake up I'm happy for my body. We've been through a lot of shit together and I plan on going through a lot more. So if you see me out sporting a sleeveless look, know I broke out the big guns cuz I could."

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know is now available wherever books are sold.

Filed Under
 •  •