Valerie Bertinelli Opens Up About 'Using Food as a Numbing Agent' to Avoid Sadness
Valerie Bertinelli is working to improve her attitude toward wellness, one day at a time.
The Golden Globe winner, 59, opened up on the Today show about her history of emotional eating, as well as her intention to reshape her attitude and foster a more positive outlook on life.
“People may see me all the time on television and I’m always smiling, but then as soon as the camera goes off and I go home, this sadness wells up again,” said Bertinelli. “I use food as a way to not feel the sadness.”
The actress, known for her work on sitcoms like One Day at a Time and Hot in Cleveland, said she turned to food to avoid dealing with her emotions, like the grief she felt after losing her mother last year.
“I don’t want to get through the hard times by eating it away anymore. I want to get through the hard times by leaning on people,” she said. “I need to feel the feelings and get to the other side and not use food to suppress the feelings.”
“By eating something away, all it does is make me feel worse about myself,” Bertinelli said. “… There’s a reason that I’ve gained weight and it’s emotional. This is just a symptom of how unhappy I’ve let myself feel and become.”
Leaning on others is exactly what the star plans to do. Partnering with Today, Bertinelli is kicking off a new series called Start TODAY with Valerie, during which fans will join her as she works toward her mind-body goals.
But the journey isn’t only about weight loss for Bertinelli. “I want to know what true joy feels like,” she said.
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“I mean, I’m gonna hit 60, time to get your act together — time to enjoy this beautiful, blessed life that I have,” said Bertinelli.
“Instead of using food as a numbing agent to not feel the feelings, I just have to push through them and feel it.”
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.