Full House's Candace Cameron
updated 10/15/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 10/15/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT
20 years later
While playing plucky D.J. Tanner on the hit sitcom Full House from 1987 to 1995, Candace Cameron Bure never thought she was heavy. "It wasn't on my mind," says Cameron Bure, now 31 and living near Fort Lauderdale. But to this day, "people come up to me and say, 'Weren't you the chubby one?' At age 16, I was 132 lbs., which is not a lot, but when you're 5'2" it shows." Today, despite giving birth to three children, Cameron Bure, now a homemaker, weighs 22 lbs. less than she did back then. She lost 20 lbs. at the end of the show's run by working with a trainer her parents had hired because "they said it would be good for my health—they didn't say anything about me being overweight." Still, Cameron Bure says she struggled with the scale yet focused on eating right and exercising even while pregnant with kids Natasha, 9, Lev, 7, and Maksim, 5. It helped that her husband, Valeri Bure, is a Russian hockey star. "He is the best motivator for me," says Cameron Bure, whose Pilates sessions with Bure "kick butt." She also plays tennis with her kids and sticks to a diet of oatmeal or eggs and toast for breakfast, a lunch and dinner of protein, salad and fresh fruit, and an occasional ice cream. "The other day at the market someone said, 'You used to be fat. Look at you now!'"