Eleven years ago, Valerie Bertinelli posed for a magazine cover in a tiny green bikini to show off her nearly 50-pound weight loss as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. At the age of 49, Bertinelli had put on a bikini for the first time in 30 years to show off the results of her hard work, but the actress now admits that she didn’t do the same thing for her mental health.
Speaking with People magazine, Bertinelli explained that in 2009 when she posed for the cover, she was proud to show off what she looked like after nine months of strict diet and exercise. However, she admits that she has regrets.
“There’s a lot of pride and a lot of shame associated with that cover,” says the beloved One Day At A Time alum. “I worked really, really, really hard. Physically definitely. I wish to God I had worked just as hard on my mental shape. But when I don’t work on what’s eating me, I’m going to start eating.”
Now, Bertinelli is 60 years old and she is hosting the Food Network show Valerie’s Home Cooking. She says that she is putting in “the mental and emotional work” to tackle her troubled relationship with food. As a special correspondent for the Today show since January, Bertinelli says that she wants “to know what true joy feels like.”
Bertinelli had the goal of losing 10 pounds for her 60th birthday, but then it turned into something more. She says that her thought process changed and she started to realize that even though she would like to lose the weight, it might not happen. This is when Bertinelli started asking herself: “How do I love me for who I am right now? Today. At this body. At this age.”
The actress says that the answer to that question is that “you have to do the internal work.” Bertinelli admits that she has been really good at “covering it up and eating through it.” But now, she says with a laugh that she would like to be good at something else.
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Bertinelli has been hosting live cooking classes from her home in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 lockdown, and she says that many people have reached out to tell her that they feel the same way about their relationship with food and learning to love their bodies.
Valerie Bertinelli also revealed that she still has the green bikini in a drawer, and the funny thing is that it is a “size large.” She said that even at her lowest weight in decades she was still wearing a large. When it comes down to it, Bertinelli says we should be celebrating everyone’s shape.