10/19/2009 at 09:00 AM EDT
She may play a somewhat dowdy receptionist-cum-salesperson on The Office
, but Jenna Fischer is well aware that being the resident hottie of a hit show means keeping herself in tiptop shape.
So after she broke her back
in four places by falling down stairs in a Manhattan restaurant in 2007, she had a lot of work to do to lose the weight she gained during her convalescence.
"Before the accident, I wore size 26 jeans!" she says in the November issue of Shape
, out Oct. 19. "I was truly in the best shape of my life. Afterward, I gained 10 lbs. and got flabby."
"And to add insult to injury, I ended up throwing my own drink in my face. My hair was caked with a putrid pineapple smell. It was awful," she says about her accident.
But her recipe for getting her lean body back was simple: hiking with friends and cutting down on fatty favorites.
"I lost the first few pounds, which was a great motivator, but I had to do more," she says. And that meant making use of what she's best known for – comedy.
"I've heard gorgeous actresses say, 'My ears are too pointy' or 'My feet are horrible.' But rather than complain about it, we should be laughing at our imperfections to make ourselves feel better," she says. "I'll squeeze the jiggle on my thigh for you just to show you I'm not perfect!"
And now she's a size 26 again.
"I went shopping with my girlfriends recently, and I fit into my old-size jeans," she says. "I'm like, 'Do you like these? I don’t care!' They could have been acid-washed and I would've bought them simply because of the size!"