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Jennie Garth Embraces Her New Body – and Her Age

updated 10/03/2012 at 09:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/04/2012 10:30AM



Hot mama alert!

Jennie Garth – looking thinner, tan and happy in a Malibu beach photo shoot – says she's dropped 30 lbs. and is feeling better than ever at age 40.

"Forty is like the new little black dress," she says lightheartedly in an interview for her PEOPLE magazine cover, on newsstands now.



Feeling frisky and more confident after a split from Peter Facinelli, her husband of 11 years, the Beverly Hills, 90210 star and mother of three is back on track after a rough patch in her life. She has refocused on her career and is eager to see what's next.



"I really feel like that part of me was dead and I need to shed it off," she says about her weight loss. "I got rid of the old and in with the new. A lot of exercising and a lot less eating. ... I decided to start taking better care of myself."

While she's back on track, Garth says her children are always in the wings to keep her feet on the ground.

"Forty is the new 30," she quips.

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