Struggling to lose the baby weight? Rita Rocks star Nicole Sullivan wanted to “do it right this time” and became the latest celeb spokesperson for Jenny Craig. “For the first time in my life, I’m not obsessing about food,” Nicole happily states about the popular weight loss program in an exclusive interview with Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Nicole opens up about her two young boys – 2 ½-year-old Dashel and 4-month-old Beckett – running into Britney Spears after a “particularly scathing” impersonation on MADtv, and why the Jenny Craig weight loss system has given her a sense of control and freedom.
CBS: Tell us about your 2 boys.
NS: “They’re so hilarious! I have a 2 ½-year-old boy, so you can fill in the blanks there. It’s a sea of ‘don’t throw that so hard’ and ‘don’t hit him with the sword.’ He’s 100% boy, and he’s a sweetheart. He’s incredibly verbal, so he loves any kind of learning games. We’re working on sentences now and he’s conjugating verbs. He’s brilliant – of course I think that since I’m his mother.
He’s also obsessed with the LA Lakers. He could name the entire starting line up of the Lakers. He’s obsessed! At night time I go to read him a story and he just wants me to make up stories about how he plays for the Lakers. So I tell him stories about him and Kobe [Bryant] playing games together.
He probably goes to a Lakers game once every month. He loves it! Of course they win every time, so I tell him that if he lived in another town he’s be hurtin.’ Luckily the Lakers are really good right now.”
CBS: And what about baby Beckett?
NS: “The baby is 4-months-old and he’s scrumptious! He’s all cheeks and thighs – nothing yummier! He smiles at everything. Whenever I say mama he lifts his head back and laughs – for some reason that’s his favorite word. He’s just a little mush-pot. And he loves watching his brother just create havoc.”
CBS: How is Dash adjusting to Beckett?
NS: “He’s good. We didn’t force it. We gave him his space. There was one unfortunate incident with a cell phone on the head. But I think that was just a little over excitement, or at least that’s what I like to say. In general he’s been great. He gives him hugs and mostly it’s a little boring to him. He’s not particularly interested. But he’s also not angry which I think is a really good sign.”
CBS: We published some pictures of you and your family picking pumpkins at Halloween. How do you feel about the paparazzi following you and taking pics of your family?
NS: “I have it so light. We live such a boring and normal life. I know the areas where the paparazzi are. They’re always so polite to me and so nice. A couple times they would yell my son’s name too loud and then one of the other paparazzi would tell him to stop. So they’re always really kind to me and my family. I think different people have different relationships with the paparazzi. I respect what they do, it’s the way they make a living. If you’re in the public eye, you know where they are.
But the people that get chased-down, that’s a totally different story. I don’t know how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie live, but for your average people, you know where the paparazzi work and if you’re going to go into those areas, just say ‘hi’ and smile. Then they take your picture and you move on with your life. It’s really not that big of a deal.”
CBS: You’re the new spokesperson for Jenny Craig. What do you like about the program? Have you lost weight on the program?
NS: “I have! I’m a little over half-way to my goal. I love that the food is delicious – obviously that’s the most important thing. And what I love the second best is that it’s working! I’m very hesitant about everything that I try – I’m kind of a nervous nelly in life. But I thought I’d give this a shot and I can’t believe how well this is working.
Every week I’m losing 2 pounds, I’m eating great food and I’m not hungry. And I meet with my consultants and everything that they said will come true has come true!”
CBS: How does the program work? Is the food delivered to you?
NS: “Some weeks it’s delivered to me and some weeks I pick it up. They do both programs. You talk with your consultant every week. So either you meet your Jenny Craig consultant in-house and weigh-in or there’s Jenny Craig online and you talk over the phone with one of your consultants and they send you the food. So I do a combination of both depending on what my schedule looks like. I like to shove my freezer full of the food and chip away as I go.”
CBS: Is it expensive?
NS: “It’s more expensive than some of the other programs, but they don’t give you counseling as well. But it is cheaper than a regular weeks worth of food.”
CBS: Is it easy to do with a family?
NS: “My husband’s doing it with me which is exciting. He’s gained about 30 pounds since our wedding. A little bit of sympathy pregnancy weight. I told him that I wanted to lose the baby weight, and I wanted to do it the smart way this time. In the last pregnancy, I gained about the same amount of weight: about 42 pounds. I just couldn’t lose it.
I did everything wrong. I thought, I’ll do fat-free, I’ll do Atkins, I did these weird starvation cleanses. It was ridiculous and my husband lived through me doing that and he said ‘you were miserable, you were crabby, you were unhappy.’ So I said let’s do it the right way this time and I called Jenny.”
CBS: Does this program teach you how to make the right foods and eventually not need their counseling?
NS: “Yes, the goal is not to use Jenny’s food for a lifetime. Although, I don’t want to see a day without the breakfast sandwich – I’m kind of addicted to it. But yes, the goal is to do it on your own.
Now that I’ve reached my half-way point, I’m now doing 2 days of my own food and 5 days of Jenny food.
It’s about transitioning, figuring out how to do it on my own. And it’s about portion control. And it’s about learning to pick the right kinds of food like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Of course I had heard all of this before, I just never really figured out how to work it into my diet. Within 2 weeks on Jenny, I already figured out how to work it into my diet.
I’m now so happy and confident that I’m going to be able to do it on my own once I get down to my goal weight.”
CBS: Is this like a points program?
NS: “No, I’ve done those programs. They’re exhausting! I’m done with sitting at my computer trying to figure out how many points are in a fat free burrito! That’s 20 minutes of my life!
Jenny is about portion control. If you’re going out for dinner, they’ll say the meat needs to be the size of your palm, your vegetables need to be 2 sizes of your palm, and so on. And it works! It’s really so much easier than all those numbers and points.”
CBS: How did you make out over the holidays? Was it torture?
NS: “I keep waiting for it to get hard. I keep saying to myself, ‘it can’t be this easy’ – but it is! But when the holidays came along, I was thinking to myself that it would be so hard and so horrible. There was one week where I didn’t lose any weight at all. That’s as bad as it got. That week I had five Christmas parties and I couldn’t do all my Jenny meals, so I didn’t lose any weight that week. For me, not gaining weight over Christmas is a win! I used to gain 5-10 in eggnog alone!
This year I just felt so much more in control. I threw a party for my girlfriends and the appetizers were all delicious, and I planned ahead. So I saved my foods and my fats. And I tried everything. I still lost a pound and a half that week.”
CBS: Does the program help you learn not to obsess over food and your body image?
NS: “This is the part that makes me cry about the program. I’m so grateful that this program came into my life because for the first time in my life, I’m not obsessing about food, because the work is done for me. I don’t have to figure out points or calories. Jenny’s done it all for me. Every week I look at a menu and choose what I’ll eat. All I do is reach in my freezer and make my lunch. I go to work and I grab my breakfast and lunch. If I’ll be late at work I also have my dinner. I also have my snacks all ready. I have my ‘anytime bars.’ I have my yogurts, my fruits and my vegetables.
There’s no way to describe how stress-free this is for me! The amount of time that has been opened up in my life – for my children and husband, when I’m not counting calories and looking at fiber or looking at fat grams – is unbelievable.”
CBS: It sounds like you’re losing the weight for you and not to adhere to Hollywood’s beauty standards.
NS: “Yes! Losing weight in front of America can be embarrassing! You have to do your before-and-after pictures. Those are never fun, because you’re fat! You know what you look like.
When I lost weight with the first baby, I would look at these magazines that said ‘she lost 35 pounds in 4 weeks’ and my brain didn’t even compute it. How did they do that?
I’m here to say: I’m an actor, I get paid to be on TV too, but I’m not some kind of weird superhero. I don’t know who these people are and I don’t know how they do it. That’s none of my business. All I’m showing America is, I’m like them. I’m an actor, but my metabolism works like them. I don’t lose 15 pounds in a week just by breastfeeding. All these magical things that they talk about in the magazines, they’re not real.
What’s real is portion control and walking 10,000 steps a day. And those are things that are real for me. And it’s working, and I really think this is what will work for all those other moms out there.”
CBS: Have you and fellow Jenny Craig spokesperson Valerie Bertinelli gotten together to talk about the program?
NS: “Yes we have, and by the way, she’s as nice as you think she is. She really is the sweetest human being and we have a lot in common because when you’re an actress and you’re not skinny, you feel like you’re broken. You feel like why does no one else in this town have a problem being a size 4, 2 or a 0 and I’m struggling to be a size 8?! What’s different about me? And she said the same thing.
The bottom line is, it’s not our business how those people run their lives, and good for them. But we know that we needed help. I tried to do it on my own so many times and I never felt in control. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am in control of my food and I’m in control of my attitude about food. I love food again. Food is my buddy again.
Now I’m like a regular person who is in control. And as any mother knows, when mom is happy and in control, the rest of the family runs so much smoother. When mom is unhappy and stressed out stepping on the scale 5 times a day, we all know what that means for the kids. It means we’re crabby, we’re snapping at them, we’re putting them in front of the cartoons while we figure out what we can make for dinner that won’t make us fat. None of those things are in my life anymore. It’s all gone because of Jenny.”
CBS: Is there a timeline on the program?
NS: “No and I’m glad because the minute you put a timeline on it I’d freak out over the stress. My goal is to get down a few pounds less than my wedding weight. My goal is early spring. But we’ll see, that could change.”
CBS: It sounds like such a great program – especially for moms.
NS: “It really is. Before you have kids, and you see women who are 70 pounds overweight with 3 kids, you wonder how this could possibly happen. Then you have kids and you get it. In between kids, you don’t lose all the weight and then you gain with the next one, then you’re down on yourself, so you just eat more. Then you really have no time to figure out how to lose weight because you have kids running around. Then you just eat what they eat. It just spirals so quickly.
That’s what I want to say to all these moms. It doesn’t matter if your kid is 1-year-old or 10-years-old, lose the baby weight! We all know it’s baby weight. We all know when it happens. It’s when we got pregnant, and then we started taking care of our families and putting our families first. And that’s why I still call it baby weight, even when it’s not right after the baby. It’s because we put everyone else first.
You put yourself first with Jenny! And by the way, it doesn’t take that much time with the program. It’s once a week with your consultant and then you’re good. It’s not that much time, but it’s about prioritizing yourself that one time a week that makes all the difference.”
CBS: Why do you think it’s so hard for so many women to put themselves first?
NS: “I think the minute you become a mom, it’s like you’re handed a lifetime supply of guilt. It’s like there’s a big gallon of guilt in your fridge and you drink it and it keeps filling itself up. And you think to yourself ‘wow, I really thought I finished off that guilt yesterday, how could I possibly have a new gallon of guilt?’ And you do!
Nothing you ever do is going to be perfect. Nothing you do is going to be good enough. You have all these great ideas like ‘my kids are never going to eat junk food, and they’re never going to watch cartoons, and I’m only going to do the alphabet with them every spare moment,’ and then you realize life isn’t that way. You have to check your emails, and you have to call the insurance company that takes an hour and a half, and your kid has to watch TV while you’re on the phone. These things happen.
I think when those things happen and your belly gets bigger and bigger and bigger, you start getting down on yourself.
I don’t have all the answers on how to be a better mom – I’m figuring that out day by day. But there is the one thing I tell people now: I’m a better mom now because I’m in control of my eating.”
CBS: So like they say, it’s not just about the food.
NS: “Yes! I used to dread dinner. I’d just serve Dash his dinner and I didn’t want to eat with him since I couldn’t eat what he was eating. I’d be mad at him because he had mac and cheese. And I’d think ‘all I can eat is salad.’ I would never eat dinner with my son and now we sit down together.”
CBS: Are you back to work on Rita Rocks?
NS: “We just wrapped about a month ago. I’m doing some other gigs now. I just did a job on Numb3rs, and doing another show for ABC coming up.”
CBS: So you must have taken Beckett to the Rita Rocks set when he was a newborn?
NS: “Yes, I would take him to my dressing room but not on the set because it’s too dusty and dirty. My mom was my nanny there. She would sit with him while I worked. I got to see him every hour and a half I would take a little baby break.”
CBS: Are you breastfeeding?
NS: “I’m not. I did for a little bit but I’m not anymore.”
CBS: You’ve impersonated tons of celebs like Britney Spears, Melanie Griffith, Kathie Lee Gifford. Have you ever had an awkward encounter with any of them?
NS: “There was one awkward moment with Britney Spears at an awards show one year. It was after I had done a particularly scathing one. But the thing is, I’m a huge Britney fan. My husband took me to see her ‘Circus’ tour when I was pregnant this summer. I love her! So she walks up and I’m like ‘Oh my god it’s Britney!’ But then she sees me and all of a sudden she taps her bodyguard and he stood in between us. I was like ‘oh I wasn’t gonna do anything mean, I was just gonna say hi!’” I love her and I think she’s incredibly talented. I think she’s a little rockstar, but my job on that show was to make fun of people, so I imagine there are people out there that aren’t huge fans of mine.
I just actually ran into Melanie Griffith at a party and I said ‘hey, I did you a bunch but I think you’re awesome.’ And she was great, she said ‘oh I saw it and I thought it was cute.’ She has a great sense of humor.”
CBS: Are you working with any charities?
NS: “The charity that I always like to discuss is the March of Dimes. For any pregnant moms out there, marchofdimes.com has a ton of answers about things that are and are not safe during pregnancy. And about folic acid which is recommended for anyone of childbearing age to be taking. It reduces birth defects by about 75%.”