Vixen Chat: Taj George Talks SWV Reunion and Shares Weightloss Struggles
Courtesy of WeTV
Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George is most known for being one-third member of the female R&B group SWV. We know she, and her sisters (Coko and LeLee), gained tremendous attention during their run becoming one of the most successful R&B groups of the 90s. What we don't know much about? Well... her life and the struggles that comes with it.
We caught up with the southern songstress where she dished on reuniting with her sisters (with voices), their reality show, and losing weight with the help of celebrity nutritionist and fitness expert, JJ Virgin.
I was excited to see one my favorite 90s group were reunited and to see a reality show following that journey is amazing.
Oh, good. I'm glad you liked it.
Click next to read on.
Courtesy of WeTV
I definitely did! But I gotta ask you, how was it for you? Were you excited?
Yeah. Well this wasn't my first reality show so I was already comfortable with filming and everything. [But] the process, it was different. The other shows were pretty much about me and my struggles and my life but this one was a three part situation, so all the drama came with it. So it was a little different but it’s my reality. It's our reality. And that's what we had to deal with.
I've seen you on Survivor, is that the only other show you've done?
I did a show on TV One, I Married a Baller.
Oh, yes! I remember that now. But with SWV Reunited there were six episodes, so it was definitely shorter than what I expected and I'm sure everyone else is like 'We want more.' I definitely wanted more especially the ending that makes us question 'Are you guys going to make it?' Is this still up in the air? What's up with that?
Well...y'all people would find out soon.
I was afraid you would say that.
Well we're still touring, so I can tell you that. We're definitely still touring.
Okay. So that's exciting to hear. And let me just say, you ladies look great!
Thank you, thank you!
Yeah, last year I dropped about 30 pounds with JJ Virgin diet which was the most amazing transformation I could've ever done without a diet pill or some kind of starvation technique. It was really easy and simple and literally, all I did was eat right and work out and I get the results I'm looking for.
You're definitely putting in the work.
Yeah, I wish I could go to the doctor and have it snipped out. My husband would knock me in the back of my head.
When was that moment for you when you were just like 'Okay, enough is enough. I need to get back to sexy Taj of SWV' ?
We were in DC doing a performance and there was a photographer there taking pictures. I had been sick for about two and a half almost three months battling what I thought was a consistent cold or some kind of bronchitis. I was constantly sneezing, my throat was always raw, [and] I was always coughing...I saw the pictures from that concert and I looked like a slob. I had the biggest double chin. I had this big stomach that just rolled on my lap. I looked crazy! And I said 'it is time to do something about it!'
(Photo Credit: WeTV)
So I called a friend of mine. She was selling these weight loss products. So I'm like 'you know what, I need something. Send me these products, I gotta have them.'... And another girlfriend of mine called me and she's like 'have you heard about the JJ Virgin Diet? You don't have to buy all of this.' I'm like 'I've never heard of it.' So instantly I hop online, I buy the book and I ordered it overnight. That’s how desperate I was. I looked horrible. So I got the book and I read it in one day and I started the next day. By that following week I was down by 6 pounds.
Oh my god!
My skin had cleared up and the stuff what I thought was bronchitis was gone. Come to find out, my doctors were treating me for bronchitis for almost three months [prescribing] z-packs and all this cough syrup and I'm just gaining weight by the second when it was food allergies.
Oh my god! I was not expecting that at the end; food allergies?
Food Allergies! When I took out those seven foods (dairy, gluten, eggs, sugar, corn, soy and peanuts) my body snapped back into shape so quick. It was so dramatic that Coko and LeLe thought I had done something. They thought for sure I had some kind of surgery or something or I was on some type of pill. They thought for sure I was doing something I wasn't suppose to.
Now was this during the taping of the show?
So you had time to really focus on you and getting yourself back together.
Yeah. We didn't start filming until that April and I started doing the JJ Virgin Diet in January. So by the beginning of the show I was on point. You couldn't tell me nothing. I was fine!
(Photo Credit: Getty)
And my birthday was coming I was 42, I looked like I was 22. I felt good. I felt really good about myself. And I found out that I'm a horrible stress eater and that’s something I have to work on...That's all mental. I have to work on that.
During the taping of the show and going through all of the stresses of the show, I turned to food. I got off track and I gained like 13 pounds back. And I called JJ and I was so embarrassed. I'm like 'you know what, JJ, I really let you down and I know that this program works. But, I fell off and I can't come and support you until I get myself together and she's like 'If you don't get your ass out here. We're gonna do this together.' So she got me back on point and now I realize there will be times where I may take a swift left when I should be going right but it’s so easy to stand up and try again because its not some kind of fad. It’s a lifestyle change and I changed my life for the better when I started doing the JJ Virgin Diet.
So what's actually different about this diet and these recipes in her cookbook versus the others that are out there.
What I love about the JJ Virgin Diet is that your goal is to remove seven highly allergic foods or highly sensitive foods from out of your diet... Half the stuff I didn't eat anyways.
....I like eggs but it’s not like if I see them I have to eat them and they have to have cheese on them if I'm gonna eat them. So it was really easy for me to avoid eggs and dairy because I don't really care for dairy. I'm weird when it comes to food. My biggest problem was soy and corn. And ironically what I called myself doing to get healthier and be more fit was, I took gluten out of my diet. And when I took gluten out of my diet, what was replacing it was a bunch of soy and corn. When I did that, all of a sudden my body started spiraling out of control. I started gaining crazy weight and getting sick all of the time and I thought 'I'm not taking care of myself; I need to eat more healthier', so I add more soy and more corn. And I kept getting sick. When I cut out the corn and soy I was amazingly healthy. So, what's so easy about this diet is you can take it anywhere, get it anywhere, you can do it anywhere and it’s so simple. All you have to do is avoid certain foods.
(Photo Credit: Teszler PR)
A lot of people are on this meal prep fad, is that kind of like what you need to do with this program. Making your food out in advance, making sure you're on track. Or is it 'you know what, I can eat outside as long as I avoid these foods.'
Exactly. You could eat outside as long as you avoid those foods. Now the thing that’s great about this diet is that the first 21 days you have to avoid those foods altogether. After that you can test those foods in your system. So for instance, after 21 days I can try to eat eggs again... The one crazy thing is that I realize with this whole movement is that when you eat right, your body performs at an amazing rate ... because the body is a well-oiled machine.
It's just like a car. If there's something wrong or if your oil needs to be changed, It’s gonna run funny. It’s gonna act different. It’s gonna sound funny. But when you change the oil it gets back in place and everything runs smoothly. It’s the same thing with your body. When you do things that you're not supposed to [your body] gives you alerts constantly; you have colds. You have allergy attacks. You have pain. You have all these things that your body is telling you 'something’s not right.' But normally we ignore those signs or we'll go to the doctor and they'll give you something to cover up those signs to make you feel that you’re feeling better when all you're doing is giving your body no help and no relief and it ends up breaking down on you.
What I do is, I have a shaker bottle. I carry my unsweetened coconut milk with me in the little 8 oz packs. I have my milkshake mix and I shake it up every morning wherever I am. I start my day off with my Virgin shake because if nothing else, I'm gonna get that right. Throughout the day I try to stick with some fruits and vegetables, something healthy. I try to avoid those foods as much as possible.
Is there anywhere in the program where you are juicing at some point because they also say juicing resets your body and your palette.
You can juice if you want [but] you don’t have to on this program. I don't. I don't juice at all. For one, I don’t have time to sit at home and juice and if I'm at Whole Foods I can just get a green lemonade which I love and they are quick... Yeah, you can do those, that's wonderful but like I said with these seven foods, after 21 days once you test those foods back into your system and you don’t have any reaction to them, you can eat it for the rest of your life. When I decided to test back the food the only foods that I did have a problem with was corn, soy and sugar. So, I've completely taken soy and corn out of my diet. Sugar is the nemesis that stays on my back cause like I said I'm a stress eater and when I stress I turn to sugar.
JJ did a whole program on attacking sugar addicts [laughs] so I'm her first genie pig on that one.
That's definitely me too because I turn to sweets when I'm stressed. I'll have some sour patch that would save the day!
I do! On my wedding day, I got married at 33, I was 153 pounds [and] toned. I was hot! I wanna get back there. After I got pregnant I went to 211 pounds and it seems like I've been stuck between 175 and 182. I need to get back down to 153. Just one more time. I wanna take some really nice cute bathing suit pictures so I can show my son, when he gets older, 'yeah your mother was in her 50's.'
You kind of alluded, in the beginning [of this chat] that we have to wait to find out what’s going on with SWV. Is it safe to say that there would be another season?
You didn't hear that from me.
(Photo Credit: WeTV)