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Valerie Bertinelli: I'm so ashamed of my weight gain following 40-lb weight loss

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Valerie Bertinelli said she's embarrassed by her recent weight gain, especially after all the media attention she received for her 40-pound weight loss five years ago.

"I've gained a few pounds," Bertinelli said on The Talk April 3. "I broke my foot three months ago and the weight starts to creep up. I haven't been able to move. My doctor even told me, 'Do not get your heart rate up.'"

Valerie, 53, started to panic as she piled on more weight after being unable to work out. What bothers her more than the weight gain is the shame she feels, which she admits is unhealthy.

It started to panic me and panic me. And then I thought, 'Wait a minute. This is my body. I'm almost 54. I broke my foot. Why do I feel so much shame?' We need to take the shame out of it. We all need to give each other a break – especially women. Let's leave each other alone."

Bertinelli has started working out again now that her foot has healed, but she's not about to embark on a starvation diet to slim down again. "I still like to eat, and I'm going to eat!" she said.

In 2009, Valerie lost 40 pounds by following a portion-controlled Jenny Craig diet and running on the treadmill. The 5-foot-4 Bertinelli slimmed down from 172 pounds to 132 pounds and even posed in a bikini for a Jenny Craig ad. Her weight has fluctuated a bit through the years, but she has generally tried to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet.

Valerie, who overcame a harrowing drug addiction years ago, said breaking her food addiction was harder than kicking her cocaine habit. "I used food as a crutch, and I abused food in a way that I shouldn't have," said Bertinelli, author of One Dish at a Time. "And it made me afraid of food for a while, too. But now I embrace it."

"[Using drugs] wreaked havoc on [my body], because one day I'm eating a healthy meal and the next day I'm just putting a bunch of white powder up my nose. I was never really addicted to drugs. That's why it was so easy for me to stop. But food is a whole other thing."

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