Pregnancy is a trying time for most mothers, but Alison Sweeney's was made worse by her directors and fans, who often body-shamed her. And despite her second pregnancy being sweet at first, she was "dying" for it to be over.
"Days of our Lives" actress Alison Sweeney has been with her husband Dave Sanov since they walked down the aisle in a beautiful beach ceremony on July 8, 2000, after dating for nearly three years.
Even as she faced criticism from fans, her husband has been her most powerful support system, and even though he is married to a movie star, he is never starstruck and keeps her grounded.
Actress Alison Sweeney and her husband Dave Sanov on December 6, 2009 in Pasadena, California | Source: Getty Images
Sweeney recalls an incident where they were out on a date when the two were still courting. They were standing close to each other when a fan stepped between them and insulted her. Her husband stepped in and protected her.
She also shared that her husband, who is in law enforcement, has zero interest in what's happening in Hollywood and prefers for them to separate their jobs from their family time together. She would say:
"As much as I love the entertainment industry, I also know its good for me to go home at night and enjoy time with my husband, play with the dogs, and lead a completely normal non-show-business life."
ALISON WAS BODY-SHAMED BY DIRECTORS AND FANS
Alison Sweeney at Comparte's Chocolatie | Source: Getty Images
Sweeney is a veteran in the film and soap opera industry, and despite her obvious talent and beauty, she has faced criticism from directors and fans ver her weight issues.
After landing her role on "Days of our Lives" in 1993, Sweeney did not audition for any other parts for a long time. When she finally did, it became a problematic experience as she was acutely aware of her body image and did not look like a typical actress.
However, her experience was made worse by her casting directors and producers, who would openly body-shame her, saying she needed to lose lots of pounds before auditioning.
The actress recalls the experience being "crushing" and "demoralizing." She remembers how she would go home and binge-eat an entire box of low-fat cookies and other baked goods. But more than just her weight, she would receive fan mail, with comments about her character on the soap opera, with one such mail saying:
"Why are you breaking up those [two]? You're evil. I hate you, fat cow."
As a habit, Sweeney would complain to her husband about her weight, and like the caring man he was, he would listen and sympathize with her, but he was also starting to get enough of the complaints.
One day, in her classical whining routine, Sweeney came home frustrated about her weight and the negative attention it brought her, and when she complained about it to her husband, Dave took on a different approach.
Sanov said that as much as he loved her and thought she was beautiful, weight and all, he was getting tired of her whining and needed her to do something about her weight rather than just complaining. He told her:
"Decide what you want to do, take action, and stop complaining about it. Don't gripe all the time but do nothing about it!"
While hearing that from her husband was tough, she realized he was right and began working on herself. Eventually, she rose above it, resetting her mind to focus on being healthy rather than obsessing over a number on the scale.
ALISON'S PREGNANCIES WERE DIFFERENT
Everyone was shocked when Sweenie returned to the set of 'Days of our Lives" weeks after delivering her second baby Megan Hope. They did not expect her back for at least three months.
Actress Alison Sweeney, husband David Sanov and children Benjamin and Megan at Knott's Berry Farm on December 5, 2015 in Buena Park, California. | Source: Getty Images
And it was even more surprising that she looked great and had shed most of her baby weight. She would explain that she did not gain much weight with her second, unlike in her first pregnancy.
"Knowing how you're going to have to work to get yourself back into shape afterward, you're a little more careful, so I didn't gain nearly as much weight."
She shared how she had dealt with morning sickness for the better part of her pregnancy, preventing her from adding weight. However, away from weight, her second pregnancy also had its challenges.
While sweet at first, she would soon start experiencing hormonally-charged anger and went from craving sweets to pickles. As the end quickly approached, she shared that she was "dying" for it to be over.
While it is not easy for new mothers, especially one with two kids, to focus on losing weight so soon after delivery, Sweeney felt compelled to shed weight, seeing as she was the host of "The Biggest Loser."
She shared: "I felt that I owed it to the contestants, to every person that stood on that scale next to me and given it everything they had all week long to get there. I owed it to them to show them I honored what they did and how brave they are, and I wanted to be a part of that."
ALISON'S MARRIAGE TIPS AND PARENTHOOD
Over two decades of marriage is, by all means, a success by Hollywood standards, and when Sweeney and Sanov married, they were intentional about making their union work.
She disclosed that one secret to their happy union is a "job evaluation" they do every year on their anniversary to determine the progress of their relationship and work on any areas requiring improvements. She shared:
"We kind of give each other a job evaluation, which sounds a little embarrassing! We talk about our three favorite things about the other person and then three things that we could work on."
Parenting has been quite the experience for the "Happiness" actress, one she says she is smitten with. However, despite having its excellent parts, she also disclosed that it comes with its fair share of struggles. She shared:
"My husband and I are both strict parents. We take our discipline and manners very seriously."
And despite her husband's full support, she would seek out her mother's parenting advice, which made her "more and more like [her] mother every day!"
Nevertheless, motherhood has been a rewarding journey, even with the struggles. "I think the most rewarding part is, you know, watching your kids flourish and find the things that they're good at and celebrate that and encourage that." She shared.
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