Ginnifer Goodwin reacts to Weight Watchers backlash

Jan 10, 2011 at 11:20 a.m. ET

Ginnifer Goodwin is shocked by the backlash she received after revealing she has been on a Weight Watchers program since she was nine years old.

Ginnifer Goodwin

Big Love star Ginnifer Goodwin recently revealed she has been a member of Weight Watchers since she was nine years old after struggling with obesity throughout her childhood. The backlash was fast and fierce, but Goodwin says she got her weight under control healthfully.

"I was so shocked when it was this whole, 'Ginny's been on a diet since she was nine years old!' I was like 'No!' I've never had body issues, I've never had an eating disorder," Goodwin told People. "I've never had to go on a diet and that's because of Weight Watchers."

"It takes time because you lose the weight slowly. It's a healthy way to do it… You don't have to go through that horrible yo-yo cycle of binging," she said. "I've always been able to satisfy my cravings; it's just a matter of balancing."

Goodwin also says her mother was instrumental in helping her develop a healthy body image. Remembering the day she went to her mother in tears because she could no longer suffer being overweight, she says her mom brought her to the family doctor and together they agreed Weight Watchers was the best plan for the young girl.

"With the counseling of my family doctor, my mother ended up turning to Weight Watchers and their children's program. I went to weekly meetings, got counseling and would exercise with my peers who were my size. It was the first time I saw a proper children's portion size, and it wasn't two burgers, it was one."

"Her reaction was not, 'Oh, I'll help you get skinny,'" said Ginnifer Goodwin. "My mother's reaction was, 'Why don't we all go and learn a little more about our health.'"

Weight Watchers no longer accepts children under the age of 10 into their program and requires those aged 10 to 16 to gain the approval of their physician.