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OTRC: Kate Walsh, 44, poses nude for Shape magazine (Photo)

Kate Walsh appears naked on the cover of Shape magazine's March 2012 issue. / Kate Walsh appears in a scene from the ABC medical drama 'Private Practice.' (Shape magazine / ABC / Richard Foreman)

Kate Walsh, 44, appears nude on the cover of Shape magazine's March 2012 issue and the "Private Practice" actress says a mid-life crisis may have inspired it.

Walsh, who plays neonatal surgeon Addison Montgomery on the ABC medical drama, promoted the issue on her Twitter page, saying: "Tw'eeps, have you seen March's @Shape_Magazine? I'll give u a workout!"

Walsh told Shape magazine she was "terrified" to pose nude, adding: "But I really wanted to do a naked cover - especially with SHAPE, because the magazine is about loving yourself inside and out."

"Right now, I feel really healthy, confident and sexy," she added. "I'm enjoying my '40s and wanted to share that. Is it a mid-life crisis? I do drive a Porche, so maybe it is!"

Inside the magazine, Walsh is also pictured in a silver bikini, workout clothes and short, shiny green, fringed dancer's outfit.

She says she helps maintain her slim figure by maintaining "portion control" after trying fad diets such as the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Atkins Diet and a "weeklong juice cleanse that lasted a total of seven hours," according to Shape.

"I'd rather have a smaller serving of something amazing than a plateful of diet food," she told the magazine. "The other night, my friend and I went out for Italian, and we split the entire meal - clams in broth, a Brussels sprout salad, a delicious bowl of pasta. And we ate bread with real butter."

Walsh also addressed the issue of plastic surgery, saying: "Everyone has their line in the sand. I draw mine at facials and laser treatments. But if others want to go a step further, it's their call."

While this is Walsh's first nude magazine cover, she has showcased edgy looks before. In 2010, she appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" wearing a dress decorated with sushi and sashimi pieces, which she called "a shout-out - an homage, if you will - to Lady Gaga." The pop singer had worn a dress made out of meat to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

"Private Practice," a spin-off of "Grey's Anatomy," is on its fifth season and airs on ABC on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET. The show has seen a slight increase in ratings over the past few weeks, but viewership has decreased about 40 percent since it debuted in 2007.

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