HomeEntertainmentValerie Bertinelli was “the poster child for Jenny Craig.” In the...

Valerie Bertinelli was “the poster child for Jenny Craig.” In the midst of ups and downs, she knows her value is no longer determined by her size.

Valerie Bertinelli no longer sees food as ‘the enemy’.

The veteran actress and TV foodie tells Yahoo Entertainment about her new cookbook, To give in. It’s a word Shen has come to embrace after years of using food – and also alcohol – to numb her feelings.

“Women in particular, but also men, are bombarded all our lives with messages about what we need to make ourselves smaller – make our feelings smaller, our bodies smaller, everything about us smaller,” says Bertinelli, who is an aging working actor. became. 14. “I’m tired of hearing these horrible messages. We must take those messages and throw them away because we are enough. We don’t have to limit ourselves. We don’t have to limit ourselves. We must retrain ourselves to appreciate what we have and indulge in the joy of our lives.”

The shift for Bertinelli began after the death of her former husband Eddie Van Halen in 2020 and the 2021 divorce from second husband Tom Vitale. She felt ‘really shitty’ and like she was ‘drowning’. Emotionally exhausted, Bertinelli decided to address feelings instead of masking them.

“Food is not the enemy,” she says. “I don’t care how anyone wants to lose weight,” amid the boom in weight loss drugs. “I don’t judge. But until I decided to actually feel my feelings—not numb them or try to bury them—I wasn’t going to change my life at all no matter what I did. And I didn’t. I was the poster child for Jenny Craig, and suddenly I’m cute because I lost weight and wore a bikini. That’s not what makes me lovable. I’m a good person. I have a very strong character. I am friendly and attentive. I love completely and completely. That has nothing to do with what the scale says and nothing to do with what size I wear.”

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Valerie Bertinelli on the cover of her new cookbook,

To give in is Bertinelli’s third cookbook. (Harper Collins)

Bertinelli decided to leave ‘the negative nonsense’ behind and love herself as she is. The shift included therapy, journaling, and realizing that food is “there to nourish your body” and not to fill an emotional void. Similarly, she cut back on alcohol last year, realizing she was using it to soothe her anxiety and pain. (She hasn’t drank since January 1, but won’t say she’ll never drink again “because I don’t want to set myself up for failure.”)

Now it’s about “feeling the feelings – as painful and challenging as they can be. I tend to build things up and make myself feel like, ‘Oh, this is going to be impossible,'” she says. ‘But no one has ever cried themselves to death. You can cry a lot – and I did. I cried buckets. I’m surprised I still have fluid in my body. But you’ll get to the other side. And you don’t need food or alcohol – or sex or gambling or whatever else someone’s tools are in their toolbox – because you felt the emotion. You finally listen to the child inside you that wants to be heard.”

Admittedly, “I don’t do this perfectly every day,” she says. “Some days I wake up and think, ‘I can’t do this.’ Other days I say, “I don’t feel like I can do this, but what can I be grateful for today?” I finally found a way to fall in love with myself.”

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Bertinelli’s cookbook contains delicious recipes, many with sentimental touches, such as a sandwich her mother made for her while she was pregnant with her son. Wolfgang Van Halen, now 33 and a musician. There are also personal essays about life, such as moving on after a bitter divorce.

“Enjoy that damn sandwich for what it is,” she says. “Don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t beat yourself up. If you eat for pure pleasure and nourish your body, there should be no guilt involved. Have fun.”

Bertinelli has definitely entered a fun era in her life. Despite swearing off relationships after her second marriage ended, she has found love again since the start of the year, dating a writer on the East Coast after meeting online.

She doesn’t want to reveal his name yet, but says: ‘I absolutely love it [him].”

While she shares To give inBertinelli doesn’t mind cooking for one, eating alone or going to parties alone. Although she had two amazing dates to the Academy Awards last month, she attended with Wolfie and his wife Andraia, whom he married in October after eight years of dating.

“They’re just my favorite people in the world,” she says. “Wolfie is just my favorite human. He is the love of my life. And I love that the love of my life is married to the love of his life. Can any parent be happier when their child finds their forever person? I am overjoyed.”

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From left to right: Andraia Allsop, Wolfgang Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli at the Academy Awards on March 10.From left to right: Andraia Allsop, Wolfgang Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli at the Academy Awards on March 10.

Bertinelli with her son, Wolfgang Van Halen, and daughter-in-law, Andraia, at the Academy Awards on March 10. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Bertinelli — who rocked a Richard Tyler tuxedo she wore in 2003 — says she and her daughter-in-law were the first audience members when Ryan Gosling performed “I’m Just Ken” with surprise cameos from Wolfgang, Slash and Mark Ronson.

“He’s worked so hard for so long, and he’s so deserving of all these sweet treats that come his way,” says Bertinelli, who travels the world to be in the audience when her son performs.

She might also have some sweet treats coming her way after recently cutting ties with Food Network. Valerie’s home cooking ended in the summer of 2023 and she was cut Children’s Baking Championship in January – which she calls “very sad.”

“I knew they had canceled Valerie’s home cooking” amid changes on the network “and that’s business. I get it,” she says. ‘When they didn’t ask me back Children bake … It [stung]. I was really emotionally involved with everyone who worked there and all the kids I would meet, so it hurt.”

But new beginnings are a theme with her these days – and perhaps this cookbook, her third, is the start of something new.

“I think To give in is a perfect name for a cooking show,” says Bertinelli with a wink. “I’ll just put that on Netflix, Hulu or whoever wants to hear it.”

Cover thumbnail photo: Dia Dipasupil/WireImage via Getty Images

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