Once the Jenny Craig grind set in and Valerie Bertinelli shed 50 pounds in only two years, she was featured wearing a bikini on the 2009 cover of People. The honest follow-up to this big milestone now makes the accomplishment feel more like an illusion fueled by extreme weight-loss obsession. According to excerpts from her memoir (via People), “I started to gain weight as soon as the photo shoot ended.”

Bertinelli gives away the secret to this celebrated moment by simply stating, “I was starving myself and doing twice a day workouts.” Time has clearly offered a sense of clarity for Bertinelli, especially in terms of how her participation in the dieting narrative could affect others. “We’re all part of this diet culture that isn’t actually helping us, our mental or emotional health,” she explained. In regards to unlearning a lifetime of health and fitness habits, fads, and critiques, Bertinelli now has a new perspective of the collective issue beyond her own struggles. “I’ve learned there are many people that feel the same exact way that I do. Some of us were taught the wrong things.”

She stresses that, at this point in her journey, “it’s not about the number” on the scale. In fact, she’s completely over it, writing, “I gave up the damn scale. 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.” As for why she’s shifted her mentality, she declared, “This is what I am. Right now. Today.”

Source: Nicki Swift

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