Fans were shocked last year when Food Network’s golden couple, Pat and Gina Neely, announced they were divorcing after more than 20 years of marriage. Also surprising? Gina’s sudden slim down around the same time; in an interview with Wendy Williams a month after the split, the celebrity chef revealed she was down to a size 0.
The separation seemed to coincide with her dramatic weight loss but in a new interview with The Indianapolis Star, the “Down Home With the Neelys” star said she started exercising and eating healthier long before the divorce.
“I actually started this journey at 45,” she told the paper. ”I said I was not going to take my weight into 50. My 50th birthday was June 10. I had already been in this lifestyle, but what really triggered it for me was that I just wanted to feel better, have more energy, and, actually, when I started going through all of these emotional endurances, working out was so good to sort of redirect that energy. “
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Gina said her workout routine – which includes everything from CrossFit and running, to hip hop and pole dancing — was a welcome respite from the couple’s separation.
“Working out really became the saving grace for me if you will, getting me through all of that,” she said. “It kept me positive, it kept me moving,”
Gina and Pat — who were known for their onscreen PDA on their Food Network series – dated in high school and are parents to two grown daughters. In a joint statement announcing the split in September 2014, they called the move to divorce a “tough decision.”
“As parents of two beautiful adult daughters that we love dearly, we will continue to be involved in each other’s lives as parents and friends,” the statement read.
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