Posing in Closer, the Loose Women anchor admitted that she would normally "shy away" from such opportunities.
McLean said: "I feel a lot more body confident now than I did in my 30s. I think there's something about hitting your 40s where you think; 'The pressure's off - I'm never going to look like Cindy Crawford, but I'm very happy to look like me'.
"When posing like this was suggested, my instinct was to shy away. But I won't have many more opportunities to do these kind of photos at my age, so I decided to go for it!"
McLean added: "I know life really is too short not to throw caution to the wind, so I'm going to enjoy it. One day it'll be lovely to look back and say, 'You were quite sexy once, Andrea!'"
The former weather girl told the magazine that a near-death experience earlier this year, which saw her undergo surgery to repair an umbilical hernia, has helped with her new positive attitude.
"But, in the grand scheme of things, it was half an hour of absolute awfulness and, thankfully, they were able to control the reaction with adrenalin and oxygen."
The full interview with Andrea McLean appears in the new issue of Closer magazine, out now.
> Andrea McLean: 'Loose Women has taught me to disagree'
> Carol Vorderman: 'I won't talk sex on Loose Women'