We’ve loved her as bad girl Sami Brady on Days of our Lives for the past 17 years. Alison Sweeney continues to shake things up in Salem, as well as host popular weight loss show, The Biggest Loser. Alison recently teamed up with fellow celeb moms Denise Richards and Lisa Rinna at the Hallmark Celebri-Tree Holiday Open House and Auction to create Christmas keepsakes for Clothes Off Our Back. And she’s pictured above going through the Glide Tight Spaces Challenge obstacle course with her son to benefit Feeding America.
The busy mother of two – 4 1/2-year-old son Ben and 10-month-old daughter Megan – sat down with Celebrity Baby Scoop and dished about her busy life, the funny things her kids do and her charitable work with Feeding America.
CBS: What kinds of things do your kids do that make you laugh?
AS: “Ben is so funny. He loves to make people laugh. I think it’s so funny when he uses adult expressions, in the proper context. Megan does this little growling thing. It’s so adorable, this deep growl coming out of her little body. And when you growl back at her, she totally knows you’re copying her and she laughs, and loves it.”
CBS: How do you do it all? What is your best advice for busy working moms on how to keep a good balance.
AS: “I wish I had an easy answer to that. It’s always easiest to say it starts with balance but it’s about every day making the decisions you can live with for that day. Then it is about looking back over the day/week/month and making sure that you are keeping everything in check, that nothing is falling too far off your radar. Also, since I’ve decided to continue my career, I try to make it a practice to honor that decision by giving my job 100% while I’m there – not regretting that decision or feeling guilty – if I’m going to be away from my kids, I owe it to them to make that time worth it. And then when I am with Ben, I put the blackberry aside, and give him my full attention.”
CBS: We hear you’ve taken to Twitter! Please tell us all about your Tweets.
AS: “Yeah, I’m totally into Twitter. When I first heard about it, I thought it was weird… and then I totally became addicted. I love it, I update all the time. I tweet during each episode of Biggest Loser, answer fan questions and post my stories and thoughts about what happened that week behind-the-scenes. It’s really fun for me to get such immediate feedback from the fans and I love how easy it is to keep them up to date on fun stuff.”
CBS: So many of us have watched you grow up as Sami Brady on Days of our Lives. What do you think is the key to providing the right balance for a child actor?
AS: “Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been 17 years. I love Days, I’ve always loved playing Sami and I feel so lucky to have had such a fun interesting character to play. It was weird being a teenager on TV but I learned a lot of life lessons pretty quickly. I was so lucky to have such grounded, supportive and loving parents. I definitely could have gotten lost in the Hollywood scene if it hadn’t been for their guidance. To me that’s the key. Frankly, the key to a lot of the issues our kids face today – having parents who are so active and involved in their kids lives helps immeasurably.”
CBS: Is it true you went into labor with Megan right after filming an episode of The Biggest Loser? We’d love to hear both of your birth stories if you don’t mind sharing.
AS: “With Ben, I didn’t know I was in labor for several hours. It was actually my good friend Lauren who’d just had a baby herself, who came by for dinner, and by then end, told Dave that I was 11 minutes apart, and to keep track. That’s when I asked, what are you talking about? And she laughed and said what do you think’s happening, you grab your belly and stop what you’re doing – it was a really funny conversation. Anyway, I didn’t want to go to the hospital too soon, so we waited, watching Survivor for as long as I could stand it. Finally Dave saw me doing down-dog trying to ‘breathe through it’ and he said, ‘that’s it, we’re going!’
With Megan, I had to go into the hospital after shooting that day because my doctor wanted to keep close watch on some of my levels. At that point she expressed a few concerns, and said since Megan was fully developed and her weight was good, she would prefer to induce labor. So they did! I was still in hair & make-up from the show. She came just before midnight that same night.”
CBS: Do you and your hubby ever get away for date night? Do you think it is important to make that time for each other?
AS: “Of course Dave and I struggle to find time to be together. We’ve learned to appreciate the simple moments instead of trying to expect ‘romantic’ dates. We enjoy making dinner together at home with the kids and then curling up to watch our DVR. We also try to plan mini weekend getaways when we can just for a change of pace. I can always count on Dave to get me out of the house with a fun plan for the afternoon. Whether it’s taking Ben to fly a kite, or a picnic at the beach we always have fun.”
CBS: Do you cook or do you have your meals prepared for you?
AS: “I love to cook. It’s so much fun to include Ben while making dinner. I can’t wait to bring Megan into it too. Ben helps us get dinner on the table, putting out the napkins, etc, and he is my official taster! It’s one of my favorite parts of my day.”
CBS: Do you want your children in show business? Please explain why or why not.
AS: “It wouldn’t be my first choice, but then, it’s not my choice. If when my kids get older they express an interest, I’ll support them in pursuing their dreams as my parents have done for my brothers and me.”
CBS: Do you work out with either Jillian or Bob (trainers on The Biggest Loser)? What is their best advice for us mom’s trying to take off the baby weight? For me, it’s those last 10 lbs. I can’t seem to shed.
AS: “I have trained with both Jillian and Bob. I love them both and think they’re amazing, inspirational people. I have a ton of advice for mom’s trying to lose weight – I’m writing a book about it! It’s going to come out next October, The Mommy Diet. And one of my tips is don’t beat yourself up about those last 10 pounds! Believe me, I’m still working on it, myself!”
CBS: What has been your greatest experience on both of your shows?
AS: “I can’t even begin to answer that question. There have been so many amazing experiences at Biggest Loser. When you’re a part of helping people get their lives back, watching them, supporting them as they overcome such major obstacle – it’s so inspiring to be a part of. And at Days, all the incredible story lines I’ve been a part of, nevermind the friendships I’ve developed over the years. The Days crew is my family.”
CBS: We hear you just participated in the Crest Tight Space Challenge last weekend to raise funds for Feeding America. Tell us all about this event.
AS: “I partnered with Glide to host the Tight Spaces Challenge event in both NY and LA to raise money for Feeding America. For every person who took the Tight Space Challenge, where people could twist, slide and glide through an obstacle course of tight spaces – which we created together – Glide will donate $1 to Feeding America to ensure more families have food on the table as the holiday season approaches.
Being on two shows, my day is jammed packed, but I always find time to floss with Crest Glide before I go on set. It’s an important part of my routine and helps me to feel more confident. Glide is just much smoother than other floss, so it slides easily between the tight spaces of my teeth – allowing me to be camera ready. So, this partnership was truly a perfect fit and Feeding America is a cause I fully support. And if you couldn’t come out to the events you can follow me on Twitter, for every person who Tweets with the hashtag #GlideTightSpaces through December 31, 2009, Crest Glide will also donate $1 to Feeding America.”
CBS: Why have you chosen to be a spokesperson for Feeding America? Do you have life experiences that have led you to this particular charity?
AS: “I got to know Feeding America through the relationship with The Biggest Loser. It’s been an eye-opening experience to realize how many people in this country fight hunger. 1 in 8 Americans. When you think about how many of those people are kids, it was clear to me that I wanted to be involved. I wanted to help.”
CBS: If you are working on any future projects or with any charities, please feel free to discuss.
AS: “I have a lot of projects coming up! And I’m always trying to incorporate the charities I work with in my projects. If you follow me on Twitter, it’s the best way for me to keep you in the loop! :)”