Lorraine Bracco, the actress of "Goodfellas" and "The Sopranos" fame, lost 35 pounds after making a commitment to take control of her health following the death of her parents three years ago.
"We were sitting there, dividing these medications, who gets what when. It was insane. I watched and realized, 'I don't want to go like that,'" Bracco told ABC News
. "I said, 'I want to be the best I could be.' I want to live every day the best I can be."
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"The last person on the take-care-of list was me. I let myself go," the Brooklyn-born Bracco added.
Bracco, who currently stars on the TNT series "Rizzoli & Isles," says she lost the weight gradually after her parents’ deaths in 2011 by primarily avoiding foods that contained high concentrations of sugar and dairy. She also made dietary substitutions in other areas, such as eating quinoa in place of other grains and satisfying her sweet tooth with fruit and gluten-free cookies. And, of course, small portions were key.
"I was a huge Twizzler eater. I love licorice," Bracco admitted to ABC News. "The other day I said, 'I haven't had this in three years,' and I had half a piece. I ended up spitting it out because I no longer have a taste for it. It was so sugary, it was almost like poison to me."
In addition to eating healthy, the 59-year-old Bracco has also committed herself to a workout routine that consists primarily of Pilates, which, like her diet, she began at a slow, gradual pace.
"I started off very slow. My feeling is also, you sign up to go to the gym and you go to two classes and then you can't walk. It's just not the way to do it," Bracco said. "Now, I go to Pilates class three times a week. I love that there are women who are in their 80s in my class and there were kids who are 23."
Bracco’s new-found commitment to healthy living will be discussed further in the actress’ upcoming book, "To the Fullest," which is scheduled to be published in 2015, E! News reported
Aside from her improved appearance, the weight-loss has also given her a surge of energy, Bracco says.
"I am still a vibrant, contributing human being and I am not dead yet," Bracco told ABC News. "I laugh because I used to wake up and everything ached before I got out of bed. Now I jump out of bed! I'm doing something right."
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