Alison Sweeney on Her New Book, Weight Loss and 'The Biggest Loser'
Filed under: Celeb News & Interviews
Sweeney, 34, who has starred on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives" as Sami Roberts since 1993, recalls how it used to be tough to work in the television industry where many women, including her co-stars, are a size zero, and she wasn't.
Thanks to dedication, hard work and determination, though, the award-winning actress and host of NBC's "The Biggest Loser," is proudly showing off her fabulous size 2-4 figure after giving birth to the two children (Ben, 6, and Megan, 2) she shares with husband Dan Sanov.
In fact, Sweeney is so proud of her accomplishments that she is revealing how she got the body she wanted in her new book, "The Mommy Diet."
ParentDish caught up with Sweeney while she was in New York City and got the scoop.
ParentDish: Congrats on the new book. What a way to kick off 2011.
Alison Sweeney: I am very happy with the book and am so excited for people to read it.
PD: Why did you decide to write this book?
AS: When you are pregnant, you get so much advice from all of these women who give it to you whether you want it or not. I felt since I accumulated so much information, in addition to documenting my own journey during my pregnancies and then getting onto the journey of getting back in shape, why not share it and help others women do the same.
PD: Struggling with weight is a topic you know a lot about since you have been public about your own battle.
AS: It is something I can relate to. I am also a working mom, like millions of other women and I can understand how some people who don't have time for the gym. However, no matter how busy I am, I will always strive to maintain a regular fitness routine. You need to make being healthy your lifestyle and balance it into your life.
PD: How will this book aid other women in shedding unwanted pounds and making sure they don't come back?
AS: I got very specific about routine exercise plans I follow, what diet I followed, how to make easy and delicious recipes, what to do when a craving comes on and how to keep track of your calories. I also discuss in great detail why it is important to be healthy and why your health must be a priority.
PD: You also share tips and personal anecdotes on how to follow easy exercises to stay in shape. What are they?
AS: Make time for it. Even if you don't want to go to a gym just get up off the sofa and walk around the block a few times or do squats while you are watching TV.
PD: When it comes to food, what is your weakness?
AS: Air-popped popcorn. I love the smell of it and the taste of it.
PD: You have been hosting "The Biggest Loser" since 2007. How has your experience on the program helped you maintain your figure?
AS: I learned a lot such as calorie counting and not lying to yourself about what you are eating. It also helps that I see Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels once a week. They definitely inspire you to stay on your a game.
PD: Unfortunately, some of the contestants on the show who worked so hard to lose the excess weight put it back on. How does that make you feel to see them fail?
AS: It is hard to see people who worked so hard to achieve something fall back. People think it is so easy to lose all of this weight in one week and it is not. Wait until you see the new season and you meet Rulon. He became an Olympic gold medalist in 2004 in wrestling and yet even though he is an athlete he gained 150 pounds after that moment because he just lost control and just gave up. Now that "The Biggest Loser" has helped him, he has gained a whole new confidence.
PD: Why do people have a tendency to put the weight back on?
AS: Everyone's story is different. Some people have had a difficult childhood or they learned bad habits growing up.
PD: Big changes are in store for "The Biggest Loser." Jillian Michaels is leaving the show after season 11, which premieres on Tuesday, Jan. 4. What is your reaction to that?
AS: I am sad. I love her dearly and I am really inspired by her. On a personal level as well as a professional level, I think she is an amazing woman, and whatever she goes after in her life, I know she is going to achieve it.
PD: How will her departure change the dynamic of the show?
AS: I can't even speculate that but we still have Bob.
PD: Jillian has been public about her desire to become a parent. Will she be a good mom?
AS: Yes, she will make a great mom. Jillian is very strong, passionate and she has all of this fire inside her. Trust me -- Jillian is so smart, her kid won't be able to sneak anything by her.
PD: In addition to starring on two television shows, you are also a mom to daughter Megan and son Ben. How do you juggle working both jobs and being mommy?
AS: I have learned how to be flexible so I don't hold myself accountable at the end of the day. I review every week and ask myself: How did I do this week? What can I do better? What am I really happy with? And then I try to work on that and learn.
PD: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to this role?
AS: The biggest challenge is finding time to sleep.
PD: Are you strict when it comes to their diet and what they eat?
AS: Yes. We don't keep any junk food in our house. I mean, I'll make them mac and cheese, but they also have a protein on their plate as well as a vegetable and, believe it or not, my kids love to eat vegetables. Little things like that still make them feel like a kid and allows me to make sure they are eating healthy.