Valerie Bertinelli Opens Up About Her Health Struggles After Divorce From Tom Vitale

by Taylor Cunningham

In a recent interview, Valerie Bertinelli admitted that she’s been struggling to keep herself together amid her separation from Tom Vitale. And before she can focus on her physical appearance, she has to heal her resulting mental health issues.

The Hot in Clevland alum took a seat next to the hosts of Today with Hoda & Jenna on Thursday. And she opened up about how her ongoing weight loss journey has been derailed by the trauma of her second divorce.

“I haven’t stepped on the scale since I finished writing the book [titled Enough Already],” she shared.

With that revelation, Bertinelli vulnerably explained that she’s been navigating through taxing emotional trials. And her weight is “protecting” her from the strain they’re putting on her mind, body, and soul.

“I’m looking at 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 because I’m going through a lot of challenges, a lot of heartbreak, a lot of crazy stuff going on in my life right now,” she tearfully admitted.

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Though Bertinelli openly battles body image issues, she shared that she truly believes that her body is holding onto the extra weight as a way of helping itself cope with the physical effects of intense stress and anxiety. And when she’s in a better place mentally, the pounds will come off.

The reason she believes this is because she’s been focusing hard on a healthier lifestyle. And it hasn’t affected her waistline.

“I know I’m treating my body better,” Valerie Bertinelli shared. “I’m drinking less alcohol, and I’m eating less sugar. I’m putting more vegetables in my body, but my body is doing this for a reason … because it needs protection.”

Valerie Bertinelli Files For Divorce After Ten Years of Marriage

The 62-year-old went on to add that there are countless others out there who are also feeling raw emotional pain like her. And she has a message for everyone who may be dealing with similar or worse situations.

“I’m not the only one going through these challenging times. We’ve all been through so much. I’m not the only one,” she said. “And I’m not here to say, ‘oh, poor me.’ I’m here to say that when we reach out to people we love, or strangers even, that we don’t have to feel so alone in this world and go through it alone.”

Valerie Bertinelli filed for divorce last month after spending six months in a trial legal separation from Tom Vitale, to whom she has been married for a decade. According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the actress and talk show host cited “irreconcilable differences” as the cause of the dissolution.