Marissa Jaret Winokur: Kindergarten “Has Been A Roller Coaster Ride”

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Actress Marissa Jaret Winokur joined forces with the American Diabetes Association to launch their Tour de Cure Women’s Series. The female-focused cycling event will kick off in Santa Barbara on October 27, 2013.

Marissa chats with Celebrity Baby Scoop about what made her get involved with the American Diabetes Association and how she now feels like “a healthy teenager” after her recent weight loss. She goes on to share that her five-year-old son Zev‘s experience in kindergarten has “been a roller coaster ride.”

CBS: Tell us about partnering with the American Diabetes Association to launch their Tour de Cure Women’s Series. Please tell us why you got involved and why this cause is so important to you. 

MJW: “I got involved because a friend I grew up with, Carol, has type 1 diabetes. When I first started working with American Diabetes Association, she was about to have her kidney transplant. She actually just went through the kidney transplant a few weeks ago, and it was successful. I grew up with diabetes in my life and I figured that the American Diabetes Association was the best way for me to join and support the cause.” 

CBS: Congratulations on your recent weight loss. How did you do it? Why did you lose the weight? How are you maintaining your healthy lifestyle?

MJW: “I did it by consuming just twelve hundred calories each day and by working out. No gimmicks. I pretty much eat all protein and all vegetables, and I count every calorie. I am about a year and a half into it now and still staying on track and not wavering. There are no cheat days for me. It’s all about putting in the time and the work.

I wanted to lose the weight because I went to the doctor and had bad blood work done. He said that my cholesterol was really high, which was scary and really stressed me out. He wanted to put me on medicine and I said, ‘What if I try losing the weight first? Let me try!’ The situation really kicked me into gear. I wanted to do it, be healthy and strong, and take control of my life. My son, Zev, was four years old at the time and I was turning forty. I said to myself, ‘Oh no! I have to get healthy. I want to turn forty and be healthier than I’ve ever been!’ That’s really what I did. I turned forty in February, and my bad cholesterol has gone from 180 to 89. Looking at my blood work now and comparing it to my check-up a little over a year ago, it’s like I am now a healthy teenager.” 

CBS: How is your son Zev doing? What is he into these days? Is he enjoying Kindergarten?

MJW: “He’s great! He started kindergarten and it’s been a roller coaster ride. My husband and I don’t know what to do with him, because he is the opposite of us. My husband is a writer and we are both artistic and love music. In contrast, Zev just wants to watch the Dodgers and basketball. We have him in an after-school basketball program, and he really wants a Lakers jersey. He’s like, “I have to have a number 24 jersey for Kobe Bryant!’ I can’t get him any old Lakers jersey; it has to be the number ’24.’ I ask him, ‘How do you even know this?’ [laughs]

For last year’s Superbowl, my husband and I recorded the game to watch Beyoncé’s halftime show. When we watched her performance, Zev asked, ‘Wait! Who are we rooting for?’ and my husband and I told him that we weren’t even watching the game. Zev then made us watch the whole game. He is so into sports that we don’t know what to do. [laughs]

He doesn’t like coloring in kindergarten. It makes us ask, ‘Who is this kid?!’ [laughs] All my son wants to do is play sports. He is totally just himself; he’s really athletic and loves anything that is athletic. If he could be a ninja warrior right now, he would. He also likes to play Minute to Win It games in the bathtub with red cups. He will say, ‘Give me sixty seconds to see how high I can stack them!’ He is so hilarious.

In regard to whether he enjoys kindergarten, it’s half and half. I volunteer at the school once a week, so I do get to see that he’s enjoying it. However, once he comes home he says that he doesn’t want to go back because it’s a lot of coloring, reading, and writing. He’s really good a math, but kindergarten is all about patterns and not so much about problems like ‘what is ten times ten.’ In kindergarten, they want to make sure he can count to a hundred, and he would probably sit with them and count to a billion. [laughs] He is so into math and science.

They are not really writing sentences in kindergarten, so when they read a book they will be asked draw their favorite thing from the book, and he will say, ‘I don’t know how to draw a fly eating a worm.’ [laughs] Zev is such a perfectionist, that he will look at other kids who are drawing and think, ‘I’m not good at it, so I’m not going to do it.’ We’re having a little bit of a hard time with him. Every day, I think to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, we are at the letter “M.” I am going to lose my mind this week!’ [laughs] He has homework every week and it’s hard, because he doesn’t want to do it. I feel like he is on a learning curve. When I am there in class, I see that he is enjoying the kids and he’s really good at making friends, because all of the kids like him and he’s a leader.”

CBS: Also last time we chatted, you were open about your hopes to add to the family. Please give us an update. Are you still working with a surrogate in hopes of having another baby? Please share your journey with us. 

MJW: “We tried and tried and tried, and it just wasn’t working. Never say never, but I think that we are pretty much at the point where we are not going to try again. Zev has asked, ‘Am I ever going to have a baby sister or a baby brother?’ We would always say, ’We don’t know, we don’t make those plans and it’s not up to us.’ We would give him very vague answers. However, three months ago I finally sat Zev down and told him, ‘Mommy’s body can’t make any more babies, so you’re not going to have a baby brother or sister.’ We didn’t want to lead him on. We’ve talked about adoption a lot, but right now my family works really well. We’re really working well and we’re so lucky to have Zev. It was such a long and drawn-out process and an amazing miracle that we even had him.

Right now, we think there won’t be any more babies in our future, but you never know. You can never say never about anything. I say that about plastic surgery too; I say that I’ll never have it, but you never know…maybe I will!” [laughs]

CBS: What’s up next for you?

MJW: “I did pilots for some shows, and right now I am waiting to see if they get picked up. It’s hard being an actress, because I am in the process of waiting for the next job and figuring it all out. I just had a recurring role on Melissa and Joey, which was really fun. They are just about to start their new season, and I’m hope that they bring my character back. I am really just waiting on what comes next. I shot this great movie, and the editing on that is almost done. It’s an amazing and hilarious chick flick, and every woman is going to love it. I am super funny in it. It has an amazing cast and I’m excited for that to come out.”

To register for the Tour de Cure Women’s Series and for more info on the cause, please visit the event’s website.