"We talk about our favorite things about the other person and things we could work on," Sweeney says

By Wade Rouse
February 10, 2015 09:30 AM
Alexei Hay/Health

Alison Sweeney is used to seeing contestants reach major milestones as host of The Biggest Loser and a PEOPLE.com blogger, but she has a few of her own coming up.

“I love birthdays,” Sweeney, who turns 40 next year, tells Health. “I’m down for any excuse to celebrate and be with friends.”

Continues Sweeney, who appears on the March cover of Health, on newsstands Friday: “On Days of Our Lives, my character became a mother when I was 18. Two years ago, I became a grandmother on the show, and people teased me about that. So there goes that milestone, too!”

(Sweeney retired from Days in 2014 after 21 years on the soap.)

The next milestone for Sweeney is her 15-year wedding anniversary to Dave Sanov, a California highway patrol officer, when the two plan to give each other a “job evaluation.”

“Every year on our anniversary, we have a dinner date and talk about how our relationship is going,” Sweeney says. “We kind of give each other a job evaluation, which sounds a little embarrassing! We talk about our three favorite things about the other person and then three things that we could work on.”

No doubt two of the couple’s favorite things are their children, Ben, 10, and Megan, 6, the driving reason behind the actress’s retirement from Days, so she could spend more time with them and put family first.

She also opened up about the joys of hosting The Biggest Loser.

“We had a contestant this season [on The Biggest Loser] who said she was going to love herself when she got to her target weight,” Sweeney tells Health. “I almost started to cry.”

These days, Sweeney is keeping a packed schedule: She’s busy completing her third novel, directing episodes of General Hospital and starring in TV movies for the Hallmark Channel.

“As a mother of a daughter, I couldn’t lose the opportunity to explain that there will always be something,” she continues. “You need to learn to love yourself no matter what your situation is. Body image is an issue very close to my heart.”

Concludes Sweeney: “I struggle with [negative thoughts]. There’s something human in that. But if you let it bring you down, you’re allowing that feeling to take over. Acknowledge the thought and let it move on. That’s something you have to practice, and you can get good at it.”

Alison Sweeney on Health magazine
Alexei Hay/Health
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