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Valerie Bertinelli Defended Herself against Critics of Her Weight after Gaining Extra Lbs

Olawale Ogunjimi
Jun 14, 2022
07:00 A.M.
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Valerie Bertinelli tried her very best to lose weight after the public criticized her for it. Still, at some point, she decided that it would be something she had to deal with for the rest of her life, so she wrote her critics a letter defending herself.


On July 9, 2021, Valerie Bertinelli shared emotional footage that showed how she felt about critics dropping nasty comments about her weight gain. The video captured her with teary eyes and a sad disposition as she revealed how demoralizing the comments were.

Bertinelli gave an example of a comment she received from a lady and stated that it was not helping in any way because she was well aware of just how much weight she had put on.

Valerie Bertinelli attends the Build Series to discuss 'Kids Baking Championship" & "Family Restaurant Rivals' at Build Studio on August 21, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


She said she had not been successful with losing weight and was just as tired of it as any other person, so she did not need the reminder.

In her caption, she asked if people were not yet tired of body shaming and confessed that it was a "little embarrassing and scary" to be vulnerable. Still, because of people who could identify with her issues, she felt empowered to share such videos.

As she concluded the caption, she stated that everyone could use a "little more kindness, patience, and grace" because nobody knows "what someone else is going through."



From childhood, Bertinelli has always been unhappy with her body, and when she secured fame, she had to battle her full-blown obsession in front of millions of eyes.

She used to write what she weighed in her journal every day because she fixated on weight loss.

When she starred in "One Day At a Time," Bertinelli would even compare herself with her TV sister Mackenzie Philips, thinking she looked great with her thin figure and consoling herself by saying she had "child-bearing" hips.

Actresses and co-stars of the TV show "One Day At A Time" Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli attend an event in circa 1978. | Source: Getty Images


At some point, she started taking special pills known as "black beauties" in an attempt to lose weight; however, the side effects had her shaking, so she had to give them up.

Her obsession reduced in 2007 when she lost about 40 pounds and became the spokesperson for Jenny Craig, but it never wholly vanished because all she could think about was if the weight would return.


Valerie Bertinelli attends the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One - Rooftop Rosé hosted by Valerie Bertinelli, at The Skylark on October 13, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


Valerie Bertinelli met Eddie Van Halen backstage at a concert by his band, Van Halen. They proceeded to have a courtship with many ups and downs set against the backdrop of his overindulgence in drugs and alcohol.

The two got married in 1981 but not too long after, drugs and music started to take priority over their union.

She tried to keep up with him by using drugs like he was, but she went overboard, and Eddie noticed it immediately, so he begged her to stop taking the drug and start eating.

Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen during 38th Annual Golden Globe Awards at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images


While they were together, she stopped thinking of her weight, and he helped her get rid of her eating disorder.

Then, they welcomed a son named Wolfgang in 1991, but neither that nor their chemistry was enough to stop their marriage from unraveling. She once said about how she felt about the marriage:

"I'm the wife of this amazing musician, and lots of girls want him, and I got him."

Eddie Van Halen, Wolfgang Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli sighted at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California on January 29, 1997. | Source: Getty Images


Bertinelli would later admit that their marriage only looked great on the outside, but behind closed doors, it was a sad union because they could not connect.

After some time, she realized he was cheating on her when she heard him telling someone on the phone that he wanted out of the marriage.

However, instead of ending their union, she held out in faith, hoping things would improve, and when she got frustrated, she would eat a lot and get mad at him.

Actor Valerie Bertinelli speaks at ATAS Celebrates "60 Years: A Retrospective Of Television And The Academy" at the Academy's Leonard H. Goldenson Theater on October 12, 2006 in North Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


Eventually, she also stepped out on him, and the guilt plagued her until their union ended. The pair separated in October 2001, and the divorce was finalized in 2007.

A significant cause of the split was their son, whom Bertinelli said did not know how two people in love should be acting because she and Van Halen were not acting that way.

The divorce was not an easy decision, and after it was concluded, Bertinelli hit a new low in her life that saw her depending on food to cope. According to her, jalapeno poppers became her Prozac, and she became a hermit.



Valerie Bertinelli on Friday, January 24, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

Bertinelli was faced with the reality of her weight gain when she watched herself in "Claire" and saw how many pounds she had put on. After that, she started using the law of attraction to envision how she wanted to look.


It worked, and after setting herself on the path of the change, she signed up as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig in hopes that the millions of people watching would be enough reason to hold herself accountable.

She also started writing a book titled "Losing It," which helped her grow as a person and inspired everyone who read it. To maintain her weight, she ate consciously and went on long walks with her man, where they had healthy talks.

Actress Valerie Bertinelli attends a signing for her book "Finding It" at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at The Grove on October 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images


Her weight loss inspired many women to eat healthily and created a group named Val's Pals. It consisted of women who met each other on Jenny Craig's message board, and at some point, Bertinelli met them and commended their progress.

After spending nine months on the Jenny Craig diet, Bertinelli wore a bikini and posed for a PEOPLE cover. She was 48 then and had worked hard to lose 40 pounds because it was her first time wearing a swimsuit in over three decades.

In 2021, after gaining more weight and receiving criticism for it, she admitted that she had been a supporter of the diet industry for years and expressed regret for doing so, saying she was part of those who created the problems it was now causing.



Valerie Bertinelli on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

In 2014, Bertinelli appeared on "The Talk" and admitted that she gained some of the 40 pounds she lost when she went on the Jenny Craig diet in 2012 but stated that nobody should criticize her.


She confessed that an injury prevented her from working out, and the weight started returning, so she felt ashamed of herself.

Thankfully she was able to talk herself out of feeling embarrassed and eventually returned to the gym.

Valerie Bertinelli visits at SiriusXM Studios on October 16, 2015 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images


In 2015, she weighed an additional 15 pounds, but rather than panic, she told ET that she was done checking the scales, claiming that it would always be something she struggled with for the rest of her life.

The mindset proved healthy because later the same year, she embraced her love for food and got her own cooking show titled "Valerie's Home Cooking" on Food Network.


Valerie Bertinelli attends the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California on April 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images


In 2021, Bertinelli lashed out at critics in a video she shared on Instagram that saw her asking them to stop the body shaming because she was well aware of how she looked.

A year later, she wrote an essay about body positivity and declared that regardless of how she looked or how much she weighed, she would love herself.

Meanwhile, as far as diets are concerned, Bertinelli no longer believes in them and has been very vocal about how much she regrets being part of the "bikini-ready" narrative.

Valerie Bertinelli attends the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California on April 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

She has repeatedly apologized for pushing the narrative and accepted the guilt of forcing women to be skinny.

Now, Bertinelli is at a place where she can own her past actions and make better decisions based on them, inspiring many people to take pride in their bodies no matter what.