Valerie Bertinelli Talks Weight Loss: ‘The Fat Girl Always Lives There Inside My Head’ (EXCLUSIVE)

By Celebrity News Wire on October 26, 2012

Although she lost an incredible 47 pounds on Jenny Craig, actress Valerie Bertinelli says she still has a tough time seeing the now-famous commercial in which she revealed her slimmed-down figure in a bikini.

“For me, the fat girl always lives there in my head,” Bertinelli — who in 2007 was tipping the scales at 172 pounds — recalled to Celebuzz. “It felt good,but it was still nerve-wracking because there were cameras all around.”

Today, Bertinelli has kept the pounds off, and is celebrating with One Dish At a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories From My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond, a new book that shares delicious recipes and tips on how to maintain your weight.

“I went through a phase where I used to think food was bad because I was abusing it,” the Hot in Cleveland star said. “If you look at food with respect and that it’s there to nourish your body and share love with your family, then it puts a whole different spin on it. I don’t punish myself with food anymore or use food to suppress feelings that I don’t want to feel. I have a whole new relationship with food.”

“These are all recipes I have learned through the women in my life. My girlfriends, my Nonni, my auntie, Mrs. Van Halen, [my husband] Tom’s mom, his sisters. These are all people I have cooked with and cooked for. They were actually quite easy to come up with.”

On New Year’s Day 2011, Bertinelli married her financial planner beau, Tom Vitale. The marriage blended two families together — Vitale has four children, while Bertinelli has a son, Wolfie, with rocker Eddie Van Halen — which Bertinelli described as a “challenge.”

“Blended families are a challenge — but they’re worth it,” she said. “Yes, I’m using that kind word — challenge! Thankfully my son gets along with his four kids.”

“I would have liked to have had a child with Tom,” she added, “but we get to look forward to grandchildren. I cannot wait to have grandchildren.”

In the meantime, there’s always ‘Hot in Cleveland,’ Bertinelli’s uber-successful TV Land Sitcom, on which she co-stars alongside the one and only Betty White.

“I love, love, love my job,” she said. “I love knowing what I’m going to be doing and where I’m going to work in the morning. I hope it lasts for a long time.”

“I hope it goes [on] forever.”

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