Valerie Bertinelli criticizes her own role in perpetuating 'diet culture' as a Jenny Craig spokesperson: 'I became part of the problem'

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Valerie Bertinelli, 61, spoke on Twitter about her role in perpetuating
Valerie Bertinelli, 61, spoke on Twitter about her role in perpetuating "diet culture," including her previous role as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig. (Photo: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Valerie Bertinelli is calling herself out for perpetuating "diet culture."

Last week, the actress and former Jenny Craig spokeswoman, 61, shared a tearful response in an Instagram video after an online commenter told her she needs to lose weight, Yahoo Life previously reported. When criticized for becoming visibly upset by those statements, Bertinelli shared in a series of tweets on Saturday that she feels in the past she was "buying into the diet industry," and she now feels differently.

Saturday's discussion began in response to a Twitter user who tweeted at Bertinelli, "you spent decades telling the rest of us to get thin, shilled weight loss shakes, potions & snake oil & NOW [you] wanna be a body-shaming warrior? You don’t get to be a victim when you helped create the problem. Grow up if you can’t take the heat."

Bertinelli was quick to respond, clarifying that she doesn't see herself as a victim in the situation.

"I’m not a victim. I can take the heat. I made the video so I could get my feelings out instead of squashing them down and eating them, which is what I usually do," she wrote. 

In a follow-up tweet, Bertinelli shared "Yes, I spent 6 years ‘shilling’ for Jenny Craig... 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. You can go ahead and judge all you like. However, I can warn you, from experience, that kind of karma doesn’t feel great either."

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In the original video, a visibly upset Bertinelli is seen asking, "where's the compassion?" in response to someone who said she needed to lose weight. Stating that "at 61 I’m still dealing with it," Bertinelli expressed her own exhaustion at battling her weight, saying, "you think I'm not tired of it, lady?"

"See, I don't have a scale or I don't have clothes that I'm trying to put on every day and I don't have mirrors, so I don't see what's become of me. So I needed that help to let me know that I need to lose weight," she first said sarcastically, then adding, "You're not being helpful, because when you see somebody who has put some weight on, my first thought is that person is obviously going through some things. Because if I could lose the weight and keep it off, I would."

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In the caption, Bertinelli wrote about the constant criticism aimed at women's bodies. 

"Aren’t we tired of body shaming women yet?!" she wrote. "I was going to delete my Stories because it’s a little embarrassing and scary to be so vulnerable. But then I realized it was hitting a ‘good’ nerve with so many of you who were so sweet to DM and share your same vulnerability and struggles. We all could use a little more kindness and patience and grace, because we just never know what someone else is going through. So here it is. Not deleting. Owning it."

In response to her honestly, Bertinelli received an outpouring of love from fans and celebrities, including Demi Lovato, Ree Drummond and Michelle Branch. 

Following her emotionally raw post last Thursday, Bertinelli returned to Instagram on Friday to share how grateful she was for the support.

"There's so much kindness out there. I certainly do not feel so alone anymore. It's the shame part that's really hard to get rid of, that stupid emotion that is absolutely useless. But I just wanted to say thank you," she shared. "Let's have a really f***ing great day today, you guys!"

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Bertinelli's tearful statement came just two days after the announcement that she is releasing a new book discussing her journey to finding self-love. Last week, she announced the book, titled Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today, will hit stores in January.

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