America's Sweetheart Candidly Speaks Out About Her Public Battle With Her Weight, Says She's Proud to be an AARP Member, and Shares Why She Views Life At Age 50 As Her New Beginning
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ONLY IN THE JULY/AUGUST ISSUE OF AARP THE MAGAZINE AND ONLINE AT WWW.AARP.ORG/MAGAZINE
America's sweetheart Valerie Bertinelli graces the July/August cover of AARP The Magazine, and exclusively announces her engagement to her boyfriend of six years, businessman Tom Vitale. "I've never felt more beautiful at any weight than when Tom looks at me. He loved me no matter what. In his way, he's teaching me to love myself just as I am," said Bertinelli. Only AARP The Magazine spoke with both Bertinelli and Vitale about the details on his proposal, their engagement, and what makes the relationship work.
No stranger to adversity, Bertinelli navigated Hollywood as the child star of One Day at a Time, endured a rocky marriage and public divorce from rocker Eddie Van Halen, and has been vocal about her long struggle with her weight. At 50 years young, she now finds herself 30 pounds lighter and at the top of her game with a new television series, Hot in Cleveland, debuting this June. In a stunning six-page spread, a vibrant Valerie struts her stuff in ball gowns and bare feet and says, "I've never been a big age person. I've got the lines. I'm aging. But so what? Now is the best time of my life."
On Turning 50 and Aging with Grace
"Women of this age are not dead. We're part of baby boomers. We're big, man!"
"You know what's so great about being this age? We're smarter. And we're not too old to grow."
"I've never been a big age person. I've got the lines. I'm aging. But so what? Now is the best of time of my life...I hope it just gets better, because this is really fun."
"I'm proud to be an AARP member!"
"When I was [my son] Wolfie's age and my mom would try to tell me something I was like, 'She doesn't know what she's talking about. God she knew what she was talking about.'"
On Finding Love
"I've never had a male friend like I have with Tom...Mature love doesn't mean you have to be mature all the time we definitely have our immature moments. But when disagreements come up, we're able to talk in a way that's not attacking, and we'll still love one another."
"If my life wasn't starting to turn around, I couldn't have welcomed [fiancee Tom Vitale] into it."
Fiance Tom Vitale on Valerie
"We just understood each other completely...My family is her family. It wasn't love at first sight; it was family at first sight."
"If the timing wasn't right, I wouldn't have asked."
"We're both still a little afraid of commitment but then we were over there [Italy), and it was like our souls were calibrated."
On Getting Healthy, Physically and Mentally
"After Ed [ex-husband Eddie Van Halen] and I separated, I thought 'I'll finish raising my son, and I'll go away, have about 40 cats, and just get nice and fat.' I thought I would be alone for the rest of my life, because I didn't want the responsibility. Relationships are too hard."
"Valerie is a very strong woman," says celebrity chef Rachael Ray, a close friend. "She pulled herself up from a tough place and came back swinging."
"If I really want a piece of bread, I'll have a bite or two, with butter. And I put sugar in my coffee. That's what an extra 12 calories? It's all about portion control."
**Web Exclusive: Go behind the scenes at Valerie Bertinelli's photo shoot. From her home in Malibu, California, Valerie shares even more about her engagement, why her fiance is the perfect guy for her, and why she's proud to be an AARP member, only at www.aarp.org/magazine.
Extended audio and video interviews with Valerie Bertinelli are available exclusively online at www.aarp.org/magazine. An image of the July/August cover of AARP The Magazine and interviews with AARP The Magazine's West Coast editor Meg Grant, are available upon request.
About AARP The Magazine - With more than 35.1 million readers nationwide, AARP The Magazine (www.aarpmagazine.org) is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. Reaching over 23.5 million households, AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through in-depth celebrity interviews, health and fitness features, consumer interest information and tips, book and movie reviews and financial guidance. Published bimonthly in print and continually online, AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is the flagship title of AARP Publications.
About AARP - AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands