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Christina Hendricks: “I Felt Beautiful” Gaining “15 Pounds”

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Mad Men star Christina Hendricks says she's always been proud of her curvier figure.

"Back when I was modeling, the first time I went to Italy I was having cappuccinos every day, and I gained 15 pounds. And I felt gorgeous!" Hendricks, 35, tells the July/August issue of Health. "I would take my clothes off in front of the mirror and be like, Oh, I look like a woman. And I felt beautiful, and I never tried to lose it, 'cause I loved it!"

Related: PHOTOS: Check out these incredible star slim-downs

In February, the actress came under fire when the New York Times posted an article that slammed the star for flaunting her assets at the Golden Globe Awards. "You don't put a big girl in a big dress," the critic wrote.

"I made the grave mistake after one awards show of reading comments online about what I wore, and I was like, 'Oh my God, people are so mean!'" Hendricks reveals. "I still remember all those negative comments, despite all the wonderful positivity. That's why we're all in therapy!"

Related: VIDEO: Get a celebrity six-pack

Because of the criticism, the newlywed admits she's surprised to learn she's often cited as one of the most desirable bodies in Hollywood.

"Really? They don’t say Jessica Alba? 'Cause that's what I say!" she laughs. "It's such a compliment, because of all those times I had agents who were like, "You have to lose some weight," and all of a sudden, people are celebrating it."

Related: PHOTOS: Find out how to get a last-minute bikini bod

But the buxom redhead — who admits she could "sit down with a bag of chips and French onion dip and go to town" — also makes an effort to stay healthy by varying her gym routine.

Related: PHOTOS: How stars fight their biggest food cravings

"I get kind of bored on the treadmill, but I do it. And I do a little bit of weight training," she says. "I'm really into the BOSU ball. You have to balance on it, and I do weights and squats on it. I'm pretty good at it — I feel sort of like a Karate Kid!"

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