Known for her radiant smile and dazzling voice, singer, actress and talk-show host Marie Osmond is a light that has shone in the lives of millions for more than 40 years. But when self-doubt, weight issues, divorce and heartbreaking loss have threatened to dim her shine, Marie has turned to one thing to bounce back every time: love. Here’s how family, faith and learning to love herself keep her shining brightly.
Whether she’s sharing her weight-loss secrets in a TV spot for Nutrisystem or performing in a sold-out concert alongside her brother Donny, Marie Osmond is as energetic and joyful as they come. But up until 12 years ago, her joy was often overshadowed by a challenge that millions of women struggle with: weight.
“Dieting was the biggest stress throughout my life,” Marie shares with Woman’s World. “At 15, I was told by producers that I was an embarrassment to my family because I’d put on five pounds!” But year after year, as she faced body-image issues and harsh industry expectations, it was her family who helped Marie through. “A lot of child celebrities don’t survive,” she says. “But my family was great. They instilled good values in me, and their love gave me such strength.”
With their support, Marie rose to stardom, releasing hit albums and starring on the variety show Donny & Marie alongside her brother.
Still, life’s obstacles persisted, including two divorces, the loss of her beloved parents, and then in 2010, the death of her son Michael by suicide. “It was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced,” Marie shares of her earth-shattering loss.
In its wake, she turned to music, recording her album Music Is Medicine, to help herself and others heal. “I know the pain people are dealing with—I have felt it myself,” Marie shares. “But I also know miracles happen! I want to help others see that.”
One such miracle came to pass when Marie remarried her first husband, Steve, after 25 years apart. And today, she has just finished an 11-year run in Las Vegas and has joined The Talk as a permanent host.
But for the 59-year-old mother and grandma, spending time with loved ones is still her priority. “I’m enjoying my family and life!” she says. “I’m blessed to be happy, healthy and in control of me!” Here, Marie’s tips for finding joy—no matter what!
1. Trust in God’s Plan
“I’ve been through a lot of challenges in my life, but I understand that God is amazing and miracles do happen,” shares Marie. “One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the Proverb that says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding.’ Life will bring a lot of difficult things your way, but if you learn to trust God and to trust the gifts He has given you to face whatever comes your way, it brings so much peace and comfort.”
2. Bring on the Joy
“Whenever I need to relax, I love to go camping with my husband and my grandkids,” Marie says. “It’s so fun to get away and spend time together! When I was young, my parents had a rule: Every Friday night, the TV would go off, and we’d spend time as a family. Those are values we should look at in our own families—there’s so much crazy noise out there that we need reminders of the happy things in life and to enjoy our time with the people we love most of all.”
3. Embrace Mistakes
“In the world right now, we see all of these people’s success stories and measure ourselves against them,” Marie observes. “People could look at my life and say, ‘She has had so much success!’ But the fact is that I’ve had more trials and hardships than success —but that’s life! We don’t grow from the great things we go through, we learn from the hard things. So don’t be afraid of failure or making mistakes. Those are opportunities for us to experience our greatest growth!”
4. Never Ever Give Up
“I’ve said it before, but it’s really true: Depression doesn’t wait until Monday,” Marie says. “Before my son passed away, he called me, and we talked late Saturday night. I told him, ‘I’ll be there Monday,’ but of course, it didn’t wait until then. It never does. But I’m here to tell people who are struggling and in pain: Hold on. If you feel terrible or alone, don’t be afraid to tell someone, ‘I’m hurting.’ Just be honest and never, ever give up.”
5. Choose to Take Care of You
“Like anything else in life, taking care of yourself is a choice,” Marie says. “Dieting was always a big stress for me, but one day I made a decision to not sit and medicate myself with food. I decided I could do it— and I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off for 12 years. I feel amazing! There’s no way I could be having this much fun with my husband, Steve, if I had 50 more pounds on my body. So it all comes down to your choice—and if you choose your health, you’ll have everything!”
6. Follow Your Gut
“Intuition is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to us as women,” Marie says with a smile. “The world tries to keep us from listening to it, but if we’d just take those quiet moments to listen, it will never steer us wrong. I think that’s important, especially at this stage in life. When I was younger, I did what people told me to do, but now I follow my intuition with love and decide what I want—it’s so empowering!”
Marie’s Weight-Loss Secret!
Twelve years ago, Marie felt exhausted and unhealthy and found herself out of breath during show rehearsals. So she signed up for Nutrisystem and lost 50 pounds—and has kept it off ever since! “Nutrisystem taught me how to eat without giving up my favorite foods,” says Marie. “They give you the tools to govern yourself, and you see incredible results!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.