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Syleena Johnson: A Diva’s Plan for Health and Wellness

by  Celeste Davie on March 31, 2014

syleena-johnsonGetting into shape is no easy task and most of us have tried every diet in the book. The thing about diets is that they send you into this cycling effect of repeated losses and regains of weight. Just ask Syleena Johnson who has battled the scale for a long time. "When I signed to Jive Records, I started to train harder because of the whole persona that you had to be skinny in this industry. I went through a lot. I’m talking several diet pills and I developed acid reflux," says Johnson.

Involved in sports at a young age, Johnson says, "I played sports in school, so I have always been an athlete. Fitness has been a part of my life since I was a child. I use to do workout DVD's with my mom when I was 8 or 9. I would dress up in a leotard and do the Jane Fonda DVD."

Johnson has taken on a change in her life and she can tribute that change to her husband. It was after she married him that he introduced her to a new way of living. "I met my husband who was a professional athlete playing basketball overseas and he introduced me a nutritionist. She taught me a different lifestyle, from organics to therapeutic medicine. I really dove into that and I lost weight the healthy way, but I still would go up and down. Then I got pregnant and gained 65 pounds with my first child. It took my two years to lose it. I got pregnant again and gained 80 pounds. I lost it in a year but then again it was back to the eating."

That chapter in Johnson’s life has ended and now she's living a healthy lifestyle that's making her sing a happy tune. Not only is Johnson making better decisions for herself, she's also on a mission to help other women do the same. We know that finding time to workout can be a challenge. As a busy mother and wife, Johnson knows it's hard for moms to jump-start an exercise routine, no matter how motivated they are. After losing nearly 70 pounds, Johnson decided to create a workout DVD called "Mommy's Got Soul" that combines her music, advocacy for women and her love for health and fitness. The 50-minute DVD consists of varies types of workouts, yoga, a kettle bell workout, and a cool down.

“It is a great workout DVD that is geared towards women who are pregnant or just had a baby. For moms, one of our problems is that we don’t have time to get to the gym. With this DVD you can do the workout from home. You don’t need weights because you can use your own body weight. The women in the video look like everyday women and to me that’s inspiring. When you see other people who look like you, you can relate to each other," says Johnson.

"I’m working on a book called “The Weight Is Over” because I want to talk about the whole journey of low self-esteem and low self-worth. Feeling ugly inside and having the industry make you feel that way. I’ve had record labels tell me that I am too fat and I need to lose weight. That mentally damaged me so I did whatever I had to do to lose weight. Starve myself, take diet pills, take those shots, I did all of that and it didn’t make me happy. I was irritable and unhappy and I would go right back to gaining weight. The problem was that I didn’t know how to eat. Now it's about knowing how to eat and finding something you love to do. When I met Donna Richardson, she got me into running. I never liked running. I did a relay race and now I am addicted to running.”

Be sure to catch Johnson on the new season of TV1’s “R&B Divas” which begins April 23 at 10 EST/9 pm CST.

For more information about the DVD, “Mommy’s Got Soul,” and what projects Johnson is working on next, visit her website at  You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: and Syleena Johnson

Celeste Davie

Celeste Davie

Celeste Davie is a traveler, freelance writer, marathon runner, foodie, and photography enthusiast who has traveled throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico. full bio


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