updated 06/16/2009 AT 1:10 PM ET
•originally published 06/17/2009 AT 11:10 AM ET
Marissa Jaret Winokur, host of the new weight loss dance show Dance Your Ass Off, gained baby weight while awaiting the birth of her son Zev – and she wasn’t even pregnant.
A survivor of cervical cancer, Winokur, 36, had her now-11-month-old son with husband Judah Miller through a surrogate and says she put on 25 pounds during and after the pregnancy. “[It was] total stress,” says the actress, who won a Tony in 2003 for the musical Hairspray. “You don’t actually have to carry the baby to gain weight.”
Before her son’s birth, Winokur got intense exercise while competing on Dancing with the Stars last spring. “During Dancing, I was working out all the time.” But the strain of motherhood soon took its toll. “When I wasn’t working, if I had an hour [and] my husband wasn’t home from work yet, I’d be like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna run on the treadmill.’ [But sometimes] you have an hour and the last thing you wanna do is get on a treadmill.”
Winokur is back on her fitness routine, thanks to classes at Studio City’s Cardio Barre. Ironically, though she considers her new show a combination between The Biggest Loser and Dancing (it premieres on Oxygen June 29th), it wasn’t much help to her. “I hosted the whole season and didn’t lose a pound. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is insane,’ ” she says.