Published December 29, 2012
"I have a list on my iPhone of things that make me happy," says Jennie Garth.
It must be working, because she looks brighter than ever in skinny kelly-green jeans (hmm, a nod to her Beverly Hills, 90210 character, Kelly Taylor?) and a white sweater.
Jennie is definitely due for some happy: She's spent the past year going through a very public split from her husband of 11 years, Peter Facinelli, with whom she has three daughters: Luca, 15; Lola, 10; and Fiona, 6.
But the breakup was also a wake-up call, in body and soul: "Now I feel stronger and more confident in my body."
And, boy, does it show. The 40-year-old lost 30 pounds and earned herself a "Da-amn, girl" shape. Her secret? Eating clean and exercising five days a week (three doing plyometrics and kickboxing, and two hiking with one of her dogs). Jennie is also amping up her career: She has a show in development with her friend and former co-star Luke Perry.
After such a transformational year, she's learned a thing or two about working to reach any goal. Here are her tips:
3 ways to feel happier this year
Inspire yourself. "I put Post-it notes with quotes or reminders of my awesomeness on my mirror. My favorite is: 'You are enough.' So often we walk around and feel inferior—not smart enough or thin enough. It means that I'm enough exactly the way I am."
Say I love you. "They're my favorite words, and I don't say them enough to other people, let alone to myself. When you say them, it makes you want to be gentle and kind. Even if you're mad, there's that love."
Be your booster! "There's no room for negative self talk. None. Just ban it from your vocabulary."
4 ways to motivate yourself to work out
Put on your exercise wear first thing. "I take my kids to school in my workout clothes. I'll think, 'I'm already in my clothes now, so I may as well work out!'"
Think of what it can do for you. "The driving force of why I work out is just to be stronger—physically and mentally."
Be a trainer. "In the middle of a set, I love being told, 'You can do this.' It works for yourself, too. Use positive self-motivation."
Bring a friend. "Twice a week, I'll put the dog in the car and go for a hike. I'll think, 'My dog needs exercise, so we're both benefiting.'"
Golden rules for not regaining a pound
Do check ins. "I weigh myself every morning. If I don't, before you know it, I'll be up 10 pounds. It creeps. This morning, it was up 2 pounds. That's OK. But if it's up 6 pounds? I need to make adjustments."
Run from fad diets. "My biggest regret is putting my body through fad diets: Atkins, cleanses, the hCG diet. I lost like 18 pounds, but it came right back. The worst was fasting with colonics for three or four days. It was the most horrifying experience ever!"
3 ways to eat healthy
Sneaky swap I love: Fage yogurt for sour cream or mayo. "I make this chicken dish that you're supposed to coat in mayonnaise, but I use Fage. My kids didn't even know!"
My 173-calorie breakfast: Greek yogurt + slivered almonds or whole oats
"I throw some slivered almonds in it or some whole, raw oats—straight out of the box—and just grab a spoon and eat it on the way driving my girls to school."
My two-step dinner: Salmon with balsamic onions
"I love making salmon with balsamic onions. There's something so tangy and sweet about it." Step 1: Season salmon with salt and pepper, and broil in the oven. Step 2: Slice up red onions; sauté in coconut or almond oil and balsamic vinegar until reduced to sauce. Top the salmon with it.