“Warning: vulnerable post incoming -all hateful commenter’s will be blocked. 🥰,” Bertinelli, 63, began in the caption of her Monday, October 2, Instagram video, in which she tried on her “fat clothes.” The actress — who wore a salmon-colored button-down and a pair of dark-wash jeans — explained it was the outfit she wore “in my very first ‘before’ picture” when she was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig.
“I have been doing a lot of emotional and mental purging in the last year. And the past few weeks, purging my closets and getting rid of things that no longer bring me joy. These were in the back of my closet in my office,” Bertinelli explained of the ensemble. “I don’t know why I kept them, but now I’m glad I did. It’s nice to see how far I’ve come emotionally. I continue to work on not suppressing or numbing my feelings with food or alcohol and here I am. I am enough.”
Bertinelli concluded the caption with an important message to anyone who might be having body image issues. “Our bodies do not define who we are as human being’s [sic]. A number on the scale does not define how much love your heart can hold,” she added. “Please love yourself, every single part of you. YOU ARE ENOUGH 🤍✌🏻.”
In the video, the actress got even more candid with her followers, describing how “f—ked up” it was that she used to consider the outfit her “fat clothes.”
“I thought I was fat the last time I wore these clothes,” she emphasized, shaking her head in disbelief. “I’ve never felt more beautiful, more at peace, mentally and emotionally stable than I do today.”
Bertinelli’s commentary was praised by fellow Food Network stars Giada De Laurentiis and Ree Drummond (a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman).
“Valerie, your honesty is so beautiful and you won’t ever know the extent of the positive ripple effect these posts will have on the women, both young and not-so-young, who see them,” Drummond, who has been open about her own body transformation journey, wrote. De Laurentiis, for her part, “liked” the upload.
Bertinelli has previously spoken out about her “six years ‘shilling’ for Jenny Craig” in the 2000s, telling a critic via Instagram in 2021: “I have been buying into the diet industry my whole life and then I became part of the problem.”
Over the past year, Bertinelli has been candid about her body transformation in the wake of her divorce from ex-husband Tom Vitale, which was finalized in November 2022.
“So it’s getting about time for me to probably go down another jean size. I can’t believe it. And this all started in November, the month I got free,” she wrote via Instagram in June. “And I started really concentrating on my emotional and mental health. And when I started doing that, I started caring about the nutrition that I put in my body more.”
The Hot in Cleveland alum acknowledged that while “the harsh words and abuse can never be unheard and taken back, but here’s the thing, I wouldn’t have taken them in and believed them in the first place, if I hadn’t been saying harsh and unkind words to myself first,” she explained.
Two years prior, Bertinelli slammed critics who criticized her weight gain after the death of ex-husband Eddie Van Halen in October 2020.
“When you see somebody who has put some weight on, my first thought is, ‘That person is obviously going through some things,’” she told the commenter in 2021, adding that if she “could lose the weight and keep it off” then she would’ve already done it.
“But since I haven’t been successful with that my whole entire life … you think I’m not tired of it, lady?” Bertinelli questioned. “Where is the compassion? Not f—king helpful.”