How Genie Francis Lost 30 Pounds (and Counting)

PHOTO: Genie Francis arrives at The Paley Center For Media Presents "General Hospital: Celebrating 50 Years And Looking Forward," April 12, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. | Genie Francis is seen in this publicity photo for Nutrisystem.Getty Images | Nutrisystem
Genie Francis arrives at The Paley Center For Media Presents "General Hospital: Celebrating 50 Years And Looking Forward," April 12, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. | Genie Francis is seen in this publicity photo for Nutrisystem.

"General Hospital" star Genie Francis has struggled with weight for most of her life and was about to give up on ever being thin.

"I almost lost hope," the 52-year-old actress told ABC News. "I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. I thought, 'Maybe this is it.' I’m older now."

Then someone suggested she try Nutrisystem.

Francis had her doubts.

"When they first introduced this program to me, I said, 'Oh, this isn't going to work for me. It's way too much food. I can’t lose weight eating that much food," she recalled.

Francis reluctantly agreed to do it for a week--and lost five pounds.

"I couldn’t believe it," she said. "I was getting so much delicious food. I did not feel deprived. The diet is very gentle. I find that as I'm getting older, I can't do these crazy extreme things anymore. I have to have something that's easy, livable. I'm not willing to be miserable."

That was last September. Since then, Francis has lost a total of 30 pounds and become Nutrisystem's newest spokeswoman. She has 20 more pounds to go, she said.

After being on one diet after another since the age of 12, Francis famously announced in 2007 that she was making her final attempt at losing weight.

She dropped 30 pounds on the Medifast weight-loss program. Then her weight started to creep up after her sister, Shelley, died in June 2013.

"After the loss of my sister, I began to turn to food for comfort and made little time for my own needs," Francis said. "I had reached a weight I could not have imagined.

"I've always been an emotional eater," she continued. "That's my go-to when I’m feeling uncomfortable inside of my own skin. It's been an ongoing problem in my life."

Now on Nutrisystem's plan, Francis said she's finally "at peace" with food.

"All the other diets I've done all my life have taught me how to starve, how not to eat," she said. "It was all or nothing. The big thing with Nutrisystem, it's teaching me how to eat."

She said, "The more I eat a balanced diet, the less vulnerable I am to those trigger foods...because I'm not miserable and starving."

Francis is also working out with a trainer, doing a variety of cardio, weight training and calisthenics, something she has grown to love.

"I wouldn’t consider life without it," she said. "It evens out my moods, it makes me feel more peaceful, more positive."

That includes making peace with the soap opera that made her famous. After returning numerous times to reprise her role as Laura Spencer, including as recently as 2013, Francis told ABC News that she doesn't see herself coming back.

"I don’t see a place for Laura anymore," she said. "I'm glad I had it, but I’m ready for other things now."