Valerie Bertinelli on Gaining Weight: 'We Need to Take the Shame Out of It'

04/02/2014 at 04:15 PM EDT

Valerie Bertinelli on Gaining Weight: 'We Need to Take the Shame Out of It'
Valerie Bertinelli
GoldenEye /London Entertainment/Splash News Online
Valerie Bertinelli is the first to admit it: "I've gained a few pounds."

After recent photos showcased her curvier figure on the set of her TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland, the actress – who famously lost more than 40 lbs. on Jenny Craig and posed in a bikini to prove it – openly discussed her fluctuating waistline with the co-hosts of The Talk on Wednesday.

"I broke my foot three months ago and the weight starts to creep up," says Bertinelli. "I haven't been able to move. My doctor even told me, 'Do not get your heart rate up.' "

As she noticed the pounds slowly coming back on, "It started to panic me and panic me. And then I thought, well, wait a minute. This is my body. I'm almost 54. I broke my foot," Bertinelli says. "I started thinking, 'Why do I feel so much shame?' We need to take the shame out of it."

"We all need to give each other a break – especially women," she adds. "Let's leave each other alone."

Now as she prepares to celebrate her birthday on April 23, Bertinelli says she has started working out again. "I'm back in the gym and ready to go."

But make no mistake, she's not about to starve herself to return to a smaller size. Says Bertinelli: "I still like to eat – and I'm going to eat!"

Valerie Bertinelli Reveals Her Healthy Eating Strategies

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