How Hallmark's Alison Sweeney Rose Above Body Shaming Early In Her Career

Hallmark star Alison Sweeney is one celebrity who fans look to for health and fitness inspiration. The star has become a bit of a health expert in the eyes of her fans over the years, having even written a book called "The Mommy Diet." However, that wasn't always the case. Sweeney has been very open about her struggle to get healthy and her battle with body confidence after being shamed in the early years of her career. Through the decades, the actor has learned what it really takes to get in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle, admitting that she's tried all of the popular diets along the way.

"They're ineffective — once you stop, the weight always comes back on. A shake is a shake, not a meal replacement, and it doesn't compare to making your own food. My best weight-loss tool was learning how to cook for myself and not relying on takeout or frozen foods," the star told Eat This. During a chat with Good Housekeeping, Sweeny also spoke out about celebrities who claim to be fit without working out or eating healthy. "Even if that's true, it isn't healthy. Being healthy means eating the right foods and getting exercise," she stated.

Of course, Sweeney knows all too well what it's like to be a celebrity who is talked about for their body and weight.

Alison Sweeney gets candid about body shaming in Hollywood

In August 2021, Alison Sweeney sat down with "General Hospital" star Maurice Benard for an edition of his "State of Mind" series. Sweeney opened up about her time in Hollywood and the hardships she faced due to body shaming during her career. "It was hard to get work," the former "Days of Our Lives" star admitted. "Then there was the whole being on daytime thing, and then I started to become really aware of body image and that I didn't look like the typical actress." Sweeney revealed that she would receive cruel feedback from casting directors and producers at times. "I auditioned for a really popular nighttime soap opera in the '90s or early 2000s, and they told my agent, 'Send her back when she's lost 20 pounds,'" she recalled.

The Hallmark fan-favorite went on to describe how it felt to be judged for her body, confessing that it left her in a poor mental state. "I remember there was this phase of the low-fat diet — fake cookies or baked things. I would go home and be so upset that I would an entire box of low-fat cookies," she explained. "It was just crushing. It really is demoralizing," Sweeney added.

However, in time, Sweeney claims she learned to shake off the haters and figure out a way to get healthy and happy that made sense for her life.

How Alison Sweeney stays in shape

After dealing with body shaming in her younger years, Alison Sweeney now has a consistent routine to keep herself happy and healthy. The soap opera vet told CBS News in 2016 that Sweeney's secret to staying in shape is mixing things up when it comes to her workouts, adding that her favorite exercises are running, spin class, or simply hitting up the gym for a good sweat session. "When I don't have time for a full workout, I think it's really important to still get something done, so there are apps that let me do five-minute intervals with yoga poses or resistance bands. I can even do them while I'm watching TV at night, like an arm workout, sit-ups or plank pose and that's something. Something is better than nothing and sometimes people forget that," Sweeney said.

The actor also admitted that she tries to implement healthy snacking in her home, eating things like fruit, smoothies, yogurt, trail mix, and veggies. "I learned to cook but not in a healthy way," she previously told Good Housekeeping. "When I started losing weight, it was out of necessity that I had to figure it out."

Sweeney says she now appreciates her fans who lift her up and keep her motivated to stay healthy, and whom she inspires in return.