Alison Sweeney’s Shape-Up Secrets



Alison Sweeney

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    Stay-Fit Tips

    You know the saying: If you want something done, ask someone who’s busy. In other words, talk to Alison Sweeney. She hosts NBC’s The Biggest Loser, just released her second novel, Scared Scriptless, is wrapping up her last year on Days of Our Lives—and she juggles life as the mother of Ben, 9, and Megan, 5, and the wife of California Highway Patrol officer David. The one thing that keeps everything else afloat? Her commitment to staying well.

    But that wasn’t always so. Alison struggled with weight fluctuations in her 20s and experimented with crash diets that left her exhausted and overweight, because during that time her motivation was just to be thin.

    Then, in 2007, at the beginning of her Biggest Loser host gig, she discovered a simple secret that enabled her to drop and keep off 30 pounds: Think about health instead of the number on the scale. Spending time with the show’s participants initiated this mental shift. She watched them overcome struggles to not only lose weight but to improve their energy levels and lower their risk of disease as well. “I realized that getting in shape was about so much more than fitting into a certain size.”

    So, Alison changed her thinking from “I wish I were thin” to “I want to be healthy.” Once she adopted that mantra, she stopped judging herself against an arbitrary rule about being skinny and was so much happier. “At that point, things just fell into place,” she says. “I wanted to cook healthy meals and I was excited to be able to go for a 30-minute walk or jog.”

    Now, filling her body with wholesome food and squeezing in daily activity is at the top of her to-do list. “I love to walk because it gives me a chance to be outdoors and to explore the world around me,” says Alison, who walks alone or with her family three times a week. “Walking is a form of meditation for me—I’m able to take deep breaths and enjoy the moment.”

    Alison also uses fitness to fuel her creativity. “Exercise was key to me while I was writing my second novel,” she says. “I’d step away from the keyboard and go for a walk to work through ideas and think about plot twists in new ways.” In other words, she tapped into more than the physical benefits of fitness.

    And with her mental and physical life in order, Alison can focus on the things she loves most: her work and her family. Read on for her easy secrets that can help you make lasting changes.

    Hair by David Keough/Celestine Agency for John Frieda; Makeup by Corina Duran for Exclusive Artists; Wardrobe styling by Amy Berlin; Manicure by Joanie Moscatello for Covergirl; Prop styling by Scott Horne for Big Leo.

    Jeff Lipsky

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