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Valerie Bertinelli's New Body: How She Lost the Weight and Keeps It Off

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How She Feels About Her New Figure

FITNESS: How has your weight loss changed the way you feel about yourself?
VB: Mainly, I have stopped avoiding people. Before, I was going through so much in my life, but I felt like I was all alone. I would try to avoid making connections with people because of how I thought I looked and the way I felt about myself. Now, I'm the opposite; I'm more of a people person. Writing my book [Losing It, published in February 2008] helped me see that everyone has been through something in their lives, one way or another.

FITNESS: What's the best thing about your new figure?
VB: Having five pairs of jeans I look good in! I used to wear big T-shirts and leggings. Not anymore. And I'm proud of my mom -- she's losing weight with the program too. She's down almost 50 pounds, so she and my dad keep boxing up her old clothes [for charity]. My dad writes "Courtesy of Jenny Craig" on the boxes. She's so excited; she hasn't been this slim in nearly 30 years.

FITNESS: Do a lot of people comment on how great you look?
VB: Yes, although sometimes I hear, "Oh, she had plastic surgery." No, I just finally got healthy. Looking back at old photos, I've realized that being overweight ages you. As I lost the pounds, my vibrancy came back. But getting too thin ages you as well. I don't want to lose too much; you don't want to be my age and still shopping at Forever 21!

FITNESS: What's surprised you most about this whole process?
VB: That being thin is as much a feeling as an actual appearance. I always knew the way I wanted to look; the real satisfaction comes from how I feel inside.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2009.


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