Bodywatch

Body Watch

UPDATED 06/04/2007 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/04/2007 at 01:00 AM EDT

Halfway There!
MARCH
She lost 19 lbs.!

For her 47th birthday in April, Valerie Bertinelli celebrated by cleaning out her closet. "I gave away all my size 14s to Goodwill," says the Jenny Craig spokeswoman, who is down 19 lbs. and nearly halfway to her goal of a size 8. ("Size 12s are loose.") When she's lost 25 lbs., "I promised to celebrate with a martini." Losing on average a pound a week, "she's on schedule," says her diet consultant Kathryn Brumwell. "I've had some bumps," Bertinelli confesses. "There were days I had Sun Chips. I went back for a second bowl—and halfway through I caught myself." She walks 10,000 steps a day, and last week added twice-weekly cardio and weight sessions. "I'm in so much pain," she groans. It helps to have a partner—boyfriend Tom Vitale has lost 19 lbs. along with her—and a big cheering section. At the market, "people will peek in my cart and say, 'Just making sure you're doing well.' Everyone is supporting me."

HOW SURGERY HELPED ME
BEFORE
180-lb. LOSS!

Growing up, "people would say, 'That fat girl, she's Muhammad Ali's daughter,'" recalls Khaliah Ali, 32. By 26, she hit 335 lbs., but her dad "made me feel beautiful no matter what size I was." Still, as she writes in a new memoir, Fighting Weight, after a lifetime of dieting, in 2004 she chose reversible banding surgery. Now 155 lbs. and a paid promoter of the LAP-BAND System, Ali sees a doctor for twice-yearly adjustments (saline injections tighten the band). After, "your hunger is gone," says Ali, who typically eats 6 to 9 oz. of chicken, avocado and brown rice for dinner. Today, says Ali, "I'm at a weight where I'm emotionally comfortable."

MARCIA CROSS
Body After Babies
April
53 lbs. slimmer already!

She gave birth to twins just 14 weeks ago, and already Marcia Cross has traded her postpartum cargo pants for slim-fitting trousers. How? "Spanx, honey!" the Desperate Housewives actress, 45, says with a laugh. In fact, she has gone from her peak pregnancy weight of 190 lbs. to 137 lbs. today—just 12 lbs. away from her pre-baby size. She exercises, she says, "a little bit every day," either using the workout DVD BravaBody or going to Burn 60, an L.A.-area fitness center for 30 minutes of treadmill time and 30 minutes of strength training. As for dieting, "I have to eat because I have to make milk for two. But I'm not eating cookies and candy and all of that, just protein and vegetables. It's really about eating healthy."

Cross—who is also promoting Olay's free skin-cancer screening program with the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (skincancertakesfriends.org)—isn't thinking about beach season so much as Housewives' season 4, which starts taping in July. "I'm definitely aware that I have to get into shape in a month and a half." Yes, but she does have a little cushion: Her character, Bree, is sporting a pregnancy bump that, Cross says thankfully, "I get to unstrap at the end of the day."

MUCH THINNER, JUST AS HAPPY
1999
NOW

"I've lost a significant amount of weight, many sizes. It feels great, but I felt great before," says Camryn Manheim, who in 1998 dedicated her Emmy award for The Practice "to all the fat girls." Once 225 lbs., she credits her son Milo, age 6, for the gradual slim-down. "We ride bikes, play a lot of sports. [He] has become my exercise." As for diet, says the Ghost Whisperer actress, 46, "it was really a change in lifestyle, wanting to have healthy food in the house so my son learned how to eat well. It was a decision I made to give my son a better head start than I had." Although she thrills at no longer needing a plus-size shop—"I can go into Old Navy and buy things!"—she also isn't evangelizing her weight loss. "I'm still a major proponent of accepting yourself as you are."

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