Actress and Food Network star, Valerie Bertinelli, has stopped paying attention to the number on the scale. In fact, she doesn’t even weigh herself anymore. Anytime she is tempted to stand on the scale, she has a thought that stops her. She thinks, “Why would you do that, Valerie?”
In an interview for PEOPLE, Bertinelli discussed her new memoir, “Enough Already,” and how she is working on coming to terms with her body just the way it is.
Bertinelli has been weight conscious since she was a child. She remembers, “I watched my father treat my mother badly when she would gain weight.” She added, “I had a 5th grade teacher poke my belly and say, ‘You want to keep an eye on that.’ So I learned at a very young age that when you gain weight, you’re not lovable. And what I’m learning is that your body is not what makes you lovable.”
As an actress, Bertinelli often felt like her weight made her inferior as well. As a teenager on “One Day at a Time,” she compared herself to co-star Mackenzie Phillips. One day a reporter even told her that she looked like “a ton of lard” standing next to Philips. Berinelli said, “I have rarely thought of myself as anything but a failure.”
At age 47, Bertinelli became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. She explained that it was never about weight loss for her. Instead, she just needed a job. She and her 1st husband, Eddie Van Halen, had split up, and she didn’t want to take his money. She worked for Jenny Craig instead.
Bertinelli ended up losing 50 pounds over the course of two years. It ended with a photo shoot of her in a bikini. She said, “I started to gain weight as soon as the photo shoot ended.”
Losing weight and keeping it off was not easy for Bertinelli. She said, “I was starving myself and doing twice a day workouts.” She added, “Some people can look like that without doing that but not me. And there is shame for being part of the problem to make other people think they could do it. I bought into it hook, line and sinker, but I didn’t take care of my head and my heart and I think it really starts with that.”
The last time Bertinelli considered losing weight was two years ago in 2020. She woke up thinking she needed to lose 10 pounds. She had been trying to lose that exact same 10 pounds for many years. One day she had the thought, “I can’t be doing this again.” That’s when she decided to stop standing on the scale. Bertinelli explained, “There is no magic number that will make me feel good about myself.”
Instead of standing on the scale, Bertinelli is pays attention to the way her clothes fit. She said, “I haven’t weighed myself since I finished writing the book and all I know is every time I put on my jeans, they fit. I don’t have to lay back and put them on!”
At age 61, Bertinelli isn’t weighing herself anymore, but she’s still working on feeling good about herself. She explained, “I’m trying to dismantle all of the things I learned that are ingrained in me. And I’ve learned there are many people that feel the same exact way that I do. Some of us were taught the wrong things.” In her book, she wrote, “I want to be kinder and more accepting of myself.”