By now, we all know about Delaware native Valerie Bertinelli’s lifelong struggle with her weight. We also know the great success she’s had dieting with the Jenny Craig system. Still, she says, maintaining a healthy weight is an ongoing process—though the longer you do it, the easier it gets to maintain the necessary lifestyle changes.
“It’s still, for me, very new,” Bertinelli told Oprah Winfrey two years after starting Jenny Craig. “This is the longest I’ve ever kept weight off before. I’m still thinking, Wow, is this really happening? Am I going to be able to do this?”
Three years later, the answer has proven to be “yes.”
In 2007, Bertinelli, then 47, weighed 172 pounds. That March, she signed on as a Jenny Craig celebrity spokeswoman. Two years later, she weighed 125. She lost the first 40 pounds in the first year on Jenny Craig. The last stubborn pounds came off through regular exercise. She even bared her new body for all to see, appearing in a bikini for a Jenny Craig commercial.
If ever there was a great spokeswoman for the cause, it’s Bertinelli. Though she’s a successful actress, having worked constantly since her early days on the sitcom “One Day at a Time” to the recent TV Land hit “Hot in Cleveland,” she’s no diva. She’s the woman other women have related to since they were teens—a middle-class kid from Delaware who, in a very public way, married young (for Hollywood), partied like any other 20-something, became a mom, divorced, then remarried. Through it all, she worked, just like any other working mom and, like many women, obsessed about her weight. At 52, she’s at the top of her game.
Bertinelli says that part of the reason Jenny Craig worked for her is that it allows her to deviate somewhat from the specific Jenny Craig meals by eating the meals she wants—though nothing too outrageously unhealthy or sinful.
The rest is due to exercise. Her routine is made up of pushups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and other exercises that anyone can do at home—no expensive gym membership required. The key is discipline—doing it, even when you don’t feel like it (though an occasional day off is OK).
Now she’s a size 6 and the proud owner of a body she says any woman can achieve.
“I’ve got hips. I’ve got a little muffin top on the back,” she told Oprah, another woman whose struggles with weight are well-known. “Anybody can have this body if you do enough sit-ups and you just make a decision that, ‘Every day, I’m going to work out.’” —Mark Nardone