Sandra Lee Shows Off A New Look Since Her Split With Andrew Cuomo

Making her first public appearance after separating from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, television personality Sandra Lee looked absolutely gorgeous at an event in Capri, Italy, on Saturday, July 31. Wearing a yellow Matičevski gown matched with a pair of vibrant Miu Miu stilettos and a fuchsia Amanda Pearl clutch bag (via People), the newly single Lee struck a confident pose on the red carpet at a gala hosted by LuisAviaRoma and UNICEF (via Vogue).

Lee was in attendance as a UNICEF special emissary, having co-created the Los Angeles board 25 years ago. "I have to say I've been to many, many events, but this has been the most extraordinary event I have been to in so long," she shared on Instagram. "Cheers to the team, thank you for all the hard work, dedication and support," she added, "You have made the difference in hundreds of thousands of children's lives."

The event raised more than $5.9 million for UNICEF's "work to provide care and protection to vulnerable children across the globe," per People, mainly through an auction of "several one-of-a-kind items" from celebs past and present, such as Steve McQueen, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso.

Sandra Lee is proving to the world that she's here to shine

The celebrity chef, known for her "Semi-Homemade" cooking as well as for being the former long-time fiancée of controversial New York politician Andrew Cuomo, also took some time away from her Malibu mansion to explore the isle of Capri. She shared her vacation photos on Instagram, including a sunny dinner at the Lemon Grove restaurant on the island. "I thank God everyday for my beautiful, blessed life and all the wonderful people in it," Lee wrote. "Every pain makes the sweetness of these moments and experiences even more special."

In another post, Lee filmed herself dancing to the sweet melodies of Barry White, delighting her fans on the social media platform (via Instagram). Lee's followers were thrilled to see her enjoying herself. As one user pointed out, "Happy girls are the prettiest and you look happy," while another commented, "Enjoy every minute of your life. You fought hard enough for it!"

Lee is proud of the way she's transforming her body

Sandra Lee is certainly having the time of her life, having reached a milestone goal in her well-documented weight loss journey. On July 6, Lee left her fans speechless after posing in front of a mirror to reveal that she lost over 20 pounds since lockdown. "Wanted to meet my goal weight before I turned 55 tomorrow but I'm pretty happy with where I am — I feel great!" she wrote (via Instagram).

According to People, Lee has been on her weight loss journey for several months. She describes the process of shedding those unwanted pounds as "not easy," but she's stuck with it, practicing intermittent fasting and getting in her 10,000 (or more!) steps per day. Her stated goal has been to lose 30 pounds in all. Lee topped out at 170 during 2020, a difficult year for her that saw her dealing with a COVID diagnosis as well as putting on more than the dreaded "quarantine 15." As she admitted in a January 4 Instagram post, "None of my clothes fit and worse i feel terrible." She went on to explain that "I feel my very best at 140 pounds-I'm 5'9" that's a good weight for me."

Lee said that her new healthy eating plan would exclude both red meat and alcohol while including minimal carbs, lots of fruits and veggies, fermented foods such as pickles and sauerkraut, and lots and lots of water.

Lee's longtime relationship did not end acrimoniously

While many people seem to feel that Sandra Lee's split from her longtime love Andrew Cuomo was prompted by some of the controversy and scandal that's surrounded him in recent months, Lee doesn't have a harsh word to say about her ex. According to The Sun, the two began dating in 2005, shortly after Cuomo divorced his first wife, and by the following year they made the relationship public. They took things slowly, though, and didn't begin cohabitating for another six years after that. It took three more years for Lee to start planning their wedding, one that was fated never to take place.

So what happened to call off the long-planned Lee-Cuomo nuptials? Nothing dramatic, at least according to the former couple. Lee never once spoke out about Cuomo's numerous alleged infidelities, and her final word on the relationship came in the form of a joint statement issued with Cuomo: "Over the recent past, we have realized that our lives have gone in different directions and our romantic relationship has turned into a deep friendship" (via The Associated Press).

Even if Lee was disappointed that she never got to become New York's first lady, she's evidently put all that behind her. From what we can see now, she's looking ahead to leading her better-than-ever best life.