Valerie Bertinelli Says She Will Shed Her ‘Protection Weight’ After Improving Her Mental Health

Food Network host Valerie Bertinelli got real and raw yesterday on an episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna as she discussed the relationship between body image and mental health.

“I haven’t stepped on the scale since I finished writing the book,” she says, referring to her memoir Enough Already. “I’m looking at the monitor and trying not to judge myself too harshly right now because I know that I’m still holding on to this weight because it’s protecting me because I’m going through a lot of challenges, a lot of heartbreak, a lot of crazy stuff going on in my life right now.”

She tells the hosts that progress on her mental health comes before working to lose the weight she has gained. “I know this weight is protecting me right now, and when I get healthier internally and emotionally that weight will come off…Because I know I’m treating my body better. I’m drinking less alcohol, I’m eating less sugar, I’m putting more vegetables in my body, but my body is doing this for a reason…because it needs protection.”

Bertinelli moves on to share how she copes through challenging times. When times are “dark,” she says it’s all about starting each day by saying thank you for the life she has.

In an interview with NewBeauty, the star shares other ways she copes with mental health issues. “I do know that my mental health has improved immensely because I stopped looking at the scale every morning—and that’s the first big step for me,” she tells us. Improving her mental health also comes down to self-acceptance.

“The one thing I’ve learned this past year is that, sometimes, you just have to let yourself feel the feeling. I’ve spent most of my life trying to push down feelings that were uncomfortable…and that, for me, includes food, and I used food in a way that wasn’t healthy. I know I still do it. Even recently, I noticed myself grabbing some crackers after I finished an intense interview, and I said, ‘Oh, I know what I’m doing right now, I’m eating because eating makes me feel good, and I’m doing it because I’m uncomfortable because I just shared a lot of feelings.”

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