Kirsten Vangsness is an actress, writer, distillery owner, and all-around wonderful human being. She’s known best for her role as Penelope Garcia on the show Criminal Minds and the subsequent spinoff Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. She’s a talented writer and actress, but what many find surprising is that she didn’t exactly set out to be an actress. In fact, she only took up acting to deal with her shyness.
Kirsten has mentioned in interviews that she grew up in California as a rather chubby, weird-looking, and painfully shy child. Acting was something her mother suggested to try and get her to get out of her shell and stop being so shy. And slowly but surely it actually worked. Kirsten first took on ensemble roles in school plays, before moving on to more prominent characters. Eventually, she got a role in a commercial and then decided to pursue acting as a career. She has quite a lot of experience working in the theater and even won awards like the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Emerging Comic Actress and the Golden Betty Award.
Throughout her career, Kirsten has appeared in quite a few movies. You probably saw her in A-List, In My Sleep, The Chicago 8, Kill Me Deadly, Dave Made a Maze and others. She has also appeared on TV shows like LAX, Pretty the Series, Shelf Life, and, obviously, her role as part of the main cast on Criminal Minds ( she did over 300 episodes) and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour.
Vangsness is also a brilliant writer. She co-wrote a few episodes of Criminal Minds including the series finale. She also had a few of her pieces published in the LA Times.
Despite all this talent, the most commonly asked question about Kirsten Vangsness has to do with her weight loss transformation. The actress shed 50 pounds and her fans are amazed at the results. Everyone is speculating whether she underwent weight-loss surgery or took some sort of natural supplement that helped her shed the pounds.
It’s popular among celebs to go on crazy restrictive diets and hire personal trainers to lose weight very quickly. But that’s not the route Kirsten took. There was no magical pill or restrictive diets. Her weight loss happened over the period of three years and was slow and steady. It was as much a spiritual journey for her as it was a weight loss journey.
Kirsten hasn’t mentioned any diets, workouts, surgeries, or supplements. She says she lost weight very naturally through eating healthy and staying busy and productive. Kirsten also attributes her weight loss to Renee Stephens and her weight loss book and podcast. She even tweeted about it urging people to listen to the podcasts and educate themselves since the podcast is free.
The program is meant to teach you to change your and your relationship with food, diets, and help you change your life. We know, it sounds super hippy-dippy and spiritual and it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but hey, Kirsten swears by it. She did lose 50 lbs, which is quite a significant amount, and she’s managed to keep that weight off. Apparently, Kirsten continues to listen to the podcast to this day and likes the spiritual approach to life, she also keeps up with her breathing exercises to this day.
Kristen always was and still remains a curvy gal, but she says she feels lighter and healthier and more comfortable in her body since her weight loss. She was also featured on the cover of CURVE magazine.