Thirteen years ago this week, Valérie Bertinelli made a pioneering breakthrough on the internet when she posed for the cover of People magazine in a skimpy green bikini at 48.
The actress and author’s top-to-bottom relationship with the ladder has not only been lifelong, but entirely public, beginning with her role as teenage Barbara Cooper on the classic sitcom ‘One Day at a Time’. .
Today, Bertinelli is more focused on fitting into its identity than a swimsuit. Her latest memoir is titled Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today. As she explained on a recent episode of Home and kitchen tool Talks, “enough already” means enough with “the self-loathing, the bad talk, being mean to ourselves.”
“It also means that I already have enough. I don’t need to have a certain weight on the scale,” she added. “I don’t have to be a certain size in my jeans. I’m enough. We’re all enough.”
Reflecting on her years in the spotlight, Bertinelli recalled being taught at a “very, very young age that when I put on weight I’m not likeable, which is a huge lie.”
“I asked an elementary school teacher to point at my stomach and say, ‘You’re going to want to keep an eye on that.’ Before that, I wasn’t even aware of my body,” she said. “These things make me angry now.”
“What they did to me when I was a young kid was they gave me a fundamental memory of how to be accepted. To not get fat – which will make you unlovable. Now I’m just trying to get all this bullshit out of my body and my heart and my mind so I can really live in this body that I have today and accept myself.”
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At the same time, Bertinelli admitted to investing in the food industry – as well as the lingering shame of his role in it.
“I’ve bought into the whole diet industry. I’m actually a little ashamed of my part in it – that I would ever make anyone feel worse than just because I’m stepped into a bikini,” she said. “It was my job to do that. I trained twice a day. I barely ate. It was no way to live a life, that’s for sure. It’s not the life I want to live.”
The actress also admitted to doing “too many things” to make her life “miserable” – all because she didn’t like the number on the scale.
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“I never liked what the number on the scale said. It didn’t matter how small it was – when it was big I wanted to hide, but it was never small enough,” recalls- she. “What’s the point? If that number ever makes me happy, stop looking at it, and that’s what I did.”
When Bertinelli finished writing the book, she did indeed stop stepping on the scale — and her jeans still fit. Now, self-care is a little different.
“Because I’ve said enough already…that doesn’t mean I’m not going to worry about putting good things in my body. I want to eat more fruits and vegetables. I don’t want to have so many alcohol. I want to have less sugar,” she said. “I’m not going to deny myself anything, but I’m going to try to treat my body in a way that will take me up those stairs when I’m 80 years.”
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