Authenticity and openness have been a large part of Valerie Bertinelli’s appeal as a television cooking show host and social media influencer. With vulnerability and a measurable dash of candor, the two-time Golden Globe Awards winner has allowed her fans to peer into the highs and lows of her work, personal relationships and self-image.
Now, she’s drawing a boundary.
On June 10, Bertinelli issued a self-protective plea to her Instagram followers, asking them to no longer look to her for diet advice. The post featured photographs of the actor throughout her life as a “little girl” and whom she described as a “perpetual people pleaser.”
“This is the little girl I want to take care of right now. The perpetual people pleaser,” she began the caption of the post. “So please don’t come to me for diet advice. I have failed more times than I have succeeded. Releasing weight is a nice side effect for sure, but this journey has to be, for me, much more than that this time.”
The former “One Day At A Time” actor and host of “Valerie’s Home Cooking” then briefly touched on her effort to practice self-care.
“I’m doing my best to take care of my heart and my head and recover from verbal and emotional abuse that I finally realize I did not deserve,” she wrote.
“I feel lighter even though I’m pretty much around the same weight I was when I started Jenny Craig 16 years ago! So it is not about the number on the scale,” she added. “My heart is lighter. My head is lighter. I want to feel my feelings, even though they can be scary sometimes, and I do my best to get to the other side of them.”
“What I don’t want to do is numb or avoid my feelings with food and alcohol any longer. That is the road I’m on and doing my best to stay on,” she finalized the caption. “I want to live the rest of my life truly happy, finding the deep joy within me, and not just faking it until I make it. We all deserve a life full of deep internal joy that we can then share with others. We’ve got this. We are enough.”
Bertinelli’s post inspired responses of empathy and support from her Instagram fans, with many sharing their personal journeys to self-healing and acceptance.
“I used to keep a photo of myself at 5yrs old in my purse,” one user commented. “Anytime I did any ugly negative self-talk, I would look at it to remind myself not to participate in (the) abuse of a beautiful innocent child…me. It was a life-changing therapy for me.”
“I have a picture of me at about 5 years old that I keep on my desk,” another shared. “We have a talk almost every morning. I let her know that I’m there for her, she’s not alone, and we will grow even stronger together. It really helps me stay grounded when life begins to swirl. You got this.”
Bertinelli might have asked fans to avoid reaching out to her for weight-loss-related advice, but her latest post remains congruent with her past efforts to show users they are not alone.
During a June 2022 TODAY With Hoda & Jenna appearance, the actor and hosts commiserated over the importance of loving your own body.
“I’m looking at myself in the monitor and trying not to judge myself too harshly right now because I know that I’m still holding on to this weight because it’s protecting me right now,” she said during the show. “Because I’m going through a lot of challenges. A lot of heartbreak. A lot of crazy stuff is going on in my life right now.”
Bertinelli has previously addressed her struggle with her weight and the role that she's played in a larger conversation about beauty standards.
In July 2021, she responded to a social media user who accused her of contributing to the toxicity of diet culture.
“Yes, I spent 6 years’ shilling’ for Jenny Craig,” she wrote in her response, in part. “I have been buying into the diet industry my whole life, and then I became part of the problem, so here I am today receiving the karma of my actions.”