Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt puts her sleek bikini body on display in the March 2013 issue of "Shape," where she says working out saved her life. Hewitt turned to exercise to help her cope with the June 2012 death of her mom Patricia, who died of cancer at age 67.
“When life hits you so hard — whether someone you care for dies or your lover leaves you — working out can save your life," Jennifer told Shape. "It certainly saved mine."
Hewitt makes an effort to eat well and be active because a healthy diet and exercise helps her look and feel her best. "The body really does respond to what you put into it and how much you put into it," says Jennifer. "I find that when I'm rested and I'm working out and I'm drinking a lot of water, I feel better and I look better.
"I never look at a scale; I have no idea how much I weigh. I go sort of on how I feel in my clothes, and that's what's important to me. And if I feel good in them, then I'm happy and it doesn't really matter what anybody else thinks."
Hewitt credits Buti, a workout that combines yoga and dance, for keeping her in shape. It's a dramatic transformation from 2007, when Jennifer was mercilessly teased after she appeared looking heavier in a bikini while vacationing in Hawaii.
Jennifer says the fat-shaming was hurtful but motivated her to overhaul her diet and workout regimen. "I wasn’t going to the gym or eating right when that unfortunate photo was taken," she recalls. "It was time to start working out and watching my diet more closely."
Hewitt, who enjoyed early success starring on the hit TV series "Party of Five" and in popular movies such as "I Know What You Did Last Summer," doesn't take her career longevity for granted.
"I'm getting ready to turn 34 [on Feb. 21], so it's a very big deal to be asked to be on the cover in a bikini," she says. "I feel like in Hollywood sometimes when you're an actress and you're 34, it's like, you should just pack your bags ... I feel very lucky."