Brandi Mallory, a makeup artist and dancer who appeared on the ABC reality series Extreme Weight Loss in 2014, died Thursday in Stone Mountain, Ga. She was 40. A representative for the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to the news to PEOPLE but did not disclose a cause of death.
Mallory was featured on the fourth season of Extreme Weight Loss, which highlighted a different person each week as they underwent rigorous regimens to lose weight. During her time on the show, Mallory went from 329 pounds to 178 pounds.
She explained her journey to Extreme Weight Loss in an interview with Kirby Carroll in 2018, detailing how the death of a sorority sister served as a wake-up call. “It was devastating, and she wasn’t as large as I was,” Mallory said. “She had a heart attack. I literally was waking up every day like… this may be my last day waking up, like, I don’t know what’s going to happen for me.”
After trying unsuccessfully to join The Biggest Loser, Mallory was selected for Extreme Weight Loss. “Every footstep since then has been God,” she said. “I prayed over that application before I sent it off. I prayed every step of the way.”
Mallory went on to run a fitness and makeup Instagram account with hundreds of thousands of followers, documenting her day-to-day life with glamorous photos and motivational captions. She also worked as a dance instructor for Dance Your Pounds Off in Atlanta, which posted a tribute video to her Tuesday and wrote, “We love you Brandi.”
A funeral and a memorial service will take place later this week, according to a death notice.
Kim Williams Maxile, who appeared on season 5 of Extreme Weight Loss, also paid her respects to Mallory on social media. “You will be missed. I’ll never forget while I was at boot camp for season 5 we watched your season and it inspired us to keep going,” she wrote. “Your episode was my favorite because we had so much in common from pageants to being a makeup artist and just a love of life… You truly made an impact on this world with your zest and your passion for body positivity. I’m blessed to have gotten to experienced you in this world. Love you so much sis.”
In other news – Jana Kramer gives birth
Jana Kramer is now a mom of three! The 39-year-old singer and actress welcomed her new son Roman James Russell with her fiance Allan Russell on November 13, according to PEOPLE. The bundle of joy weighed in at 6 lbs., 1 oz. at the time of his arrival, and Jana described her and Allan’s mood as “overjoyed” as they shared adorable new photos of the newborn.
“Allan and I are both overjoyed and truly grateful to announce the birth of our son, Roman James Russell. We feel blessed to have been given the chance to create something so special together,” she told the outlet. “The name Roman really isn’t inspired by anyone, it’s just a strong name that we both love, but James (his middle name) was both of our Grandpa’s names, so that was a nod to them,” they share. Read More