Actress Valerie Bertinelli has been open about her weight struggles throughout her life, but within the last three years, Bertinelli has taken control of her food demons and has maintained her 40-pound weight loss with a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
However, It was not an easy feat for Bertinelli.
“I used food as a crutch,and I abused food in a way that I shouldn’t have,” Valerie said on the Dr. Oz show. “And it made me afraid of food for a while, too, but now I embrace it.”
Comparing her food addiction to her former drug use, Bertinelli recalls:
“[Using drugs] wreaked havoc on [my body], because one day I’m eating a healthy meal and the next day I’m just putting a bunch of white powder up my nose. I was never really addicted to drugs. That’s why it was so easy for me to stop. But food is a whole other thing.”
The reason for her self-abusive behavior? Her thoughts about her own self-worth.
“[I thought] I’m not worth being treated well anyway, so I’ll just treat myself even worse,” she says. “I’m so glad I’m not that person anymore.”
Back in 2009, Bertinelli became Jenny Craigs’ spokesperson, and her big reveal was to show off her bikini body on the cover of People magazine. Bertinelli at the time hasn’t worn a bikini in 30 years, so that was a huge anxiety to get over. She recalls:
“I thought, Am I really going to do this? Can I pull this off? What am I so afraid of? Come on, it’s just a bathing suit!”
Of course Bertinelli did pose, and showed off her new physique, which she obtained by running five days a week and cutting her calories from 1,700 to 1,200. And in nine months Bertinelli went from a 172 pounds to 132 pounds.
“I’m a master at losing weight,” she says. “I’ve done it almost my whole life. I’ve lost weight. I’ve gained it back. I’ve lost weight, and I gained it back. This is the very first time in my life that I have kept this much weight off for as long as I have.”
“It’s an old cliché, but you really do get better as you age,” she said. “I wish I had the body and the face of that 20-year-old [but] I’m so glad I don’t have her brain.
“I feel more settled and informed than when I was that age. Everything was about ‘What do people think of me?’ Now I’m calmer. Hopefully, I’ve gotten a little more grace.”
Since gaining control in her life about her eating habits, and having a positive self-image, Bertinelli wrote a cookbook, “One Dish at a Time“.
Photos by KM/FameFlynet