Celebrities With Eating DisordersEating Disorder News
‘JAG’ actress Catherine Bell struggled with an eating disorder in the past. “About 10 years ago, at the end of a four-month modeling tour in Japan, I became really depressed,” she says. “I started eating way too much and got into that whole ugly eating disorder thing.” She gained about 20 pounds, but Bell says the support of family and friends, “plus a return to nutritional eating habits and regular exercise,” enabled her to lose the excess weight. The results of her struggle stand as testimony for what good food and the right exercise can do. “I’m about 128 pounds,” says Bell. “And that’s OK with me.”
While winning this physical and dramatic role has definitely been a boost to her acting career, Bell is not a novice to the cameras. She began modeling at the age of 16, but does not have happy memories of her time on the runway. “About 10 years ago, at the end of a four-month modeling tour in Japan, I became really depressed,” she says. “I started eating way too much and got into that whole ugly eating disorder thing.” She gained about 20 pounds, but Bell says the support of family and friends, “plus a return to nutritional eating habits and regular exercise,” enabled her to lose the excess weight. The results of her struggle stand as testimony for what good food and the right exercise can do. “I’m about 128 pounds,” says Bell. “And that’s OK with me.”
Nutritional staples in Bell’s food regimen now include vegetable juice and egg white omelets for breakfast, and chicken, fish or lean beef for lunch and dinner. “I will reach for the occasional bag of Doritos, chocolate or cookies, but most of the time it’s carrots or an apple instead,” says Bell. “Diets don’t work for me—moderation is the key.” When asked about guilty pleasures, the actress responds, “Mashed potatoes and gravy. I could eat a whole plate of that.”
As a top fashion model, Carre Otis made her living on looking thin and beautiful. But now she is sharing the ugly truth about the weight-loss strategies she subjected herself to and the dire health consequences that resulted.
“I had been on this insane diet for almost 17 years to maintain the weight that was demanded of me when I was modeling,” Otis says. “My diet was really starvation. I am not naturally that thin so I had to go through everything from using drugs to diet pills to laxatives to fasting. Those were my main ways of controlling my weight.”
But these strategies ultimately backfired four years ago.
“I had my first seizure and I had to go in for heart surgery,” says Otis, who at 5’10 occasionally weighed as little as 100 pounds. “My doctor felt that the main contributing factor was so many years of malnutrition, especially during my formative years even before I got into modeling.”
“The starvation weakened my heart,” Otis adds. “Many women who have anorexia put their hearts in a compromised situation – it not unusual for women with anorexia to suffer heart attacks. I had also taken something called ipecac — which is a syrup that makes you throw up – I took it when I was young as my way to control my eating. It’s been shown to bore holes in the heart. As a result I needed a minimally-invasive procedure that cauterized three holes in my heart – had it been a few years earlier they would have had to open my chest.”
Because of her experience, Otis is passionate about helping other people with eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (AN) — an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.
As part of her “personal crusade,” Otis is helping promote National Eating Disorders Awareness week – February 23 – March 2. She also urges people to watch Perfect Illusions: Eating Disorders and the Family which was sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association and will premiere nationally on PBS Monday, February 24.
Former “Full House” star Candace Cameron Bure went public with her years-long battle with bulimia following the end of the popular family-friendly TV series in her memoir, “Reshaping It All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness.”
In her book, Candace details her struggles with eating disorders as she tried to adjust to a life out of the limelight. She says her conversion to Christianity helped her find a healthier way to regard food and weight.
“It’s a very dangerous cycle that can just start to consume your life and really take over,” she says of eating disorders.
Now at a healthy weight, Candace stays fit with regular exercise and a moderate diet.
The ultra-thin actresss spoke out about her much speculated weight problem. She said she doesn’t pay attention to all the gossip that she’s anorexic. She denied rumors that she has an eating disorder. However. later she admitted to having an eating disorder. After years of claiming her skinny figure was due to being “small-boned,” the actress has finally revealed grueling work schedules and the stress of finishing the show, which was axed in 2002, made her stop wanting to eat. Flockhart says, “At the time of all that, I was seriously stressed. I was working 15-hour days on the set and then I was dealing with the end of the show, which was basically my life. “I started under-eating, over-exercising, pushing myself too hard and brutalizing my immune system. I guess I just didn’t find time to eat. I am much more healthy these days.”
Dana Delany, star of “Desperate Housewives,” recently told Modern Mom magazine she used to starve herself in her ‘20s in order to keep her weight low. However, while shooting “China Beach,” Dana said she decided to adopt more healthy eating habits to help get the energy she needed.
There’s a good deal of comparison here of eating disorders with alcoholism and other drug addictions, and the contributors have a diversity of theories about the nature, cause, and cure of their conditions. Except for the obese comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch, who cheerfully denies that he has a problem, they have all experienced a sense of recovery, and all say that they are able now to eat in a healthy middle way, without starving or bingeing. They testify to a great diversity of recovery pathways, such as anti-anxiety medications, psychological counseling, nutrition therapy, dialectical and cognitive behavior therapies, will power, self-discipline, surgery, and a handful who used 12-step. The book sometimes tests the reader’s patience with the contributors’ narcissism – what do you expect from celebrities? – but it is, all the same, a useful and readable collection of anecdotal material about its topic. – Marty N. 11/8/2006
Us Weekly reports: Spears is in the middle of a divorce with aspiring rapper Kevin Federline. The pair have two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James. The pop princess was sent to Promises rehab center for alcohol abuse and was released on March 20. She seemed as if she was ready to turn her life around but recent reports say she is drinking again, binge shopping and eating too much. Star magazine estimates Spears weighs at least 135 pounds now.
Daily express reports: that Britney Spears has confessed to doctors that she has been suffering from the eating disorder bulimia since she was 16. The 25-year-old singer tearfully told rehab staff – already treating her for drug and alcohol abuse – that she “pigs out” on junk food like burgers, sweets, biscuits and ice cream then makes herself vomit to avoid putting on weight. Britney’s nine-year nightmare, revealed in an American magazine, was confirmed by a senior source at the £24,000-a-month Promises centre in Malibu, California. She entered the centre last month after shaving her head at a hair salon.
Brtiney Spears Sufferred Bulimia for Many Years
It has surfaced that Britney Spears told doctors at rehab that she has been bulimic since the age of 16. Reportedly Britney told staff at Promises that she had the disease for years, with the exception of her pregnancies.
According to an American magazine, Spears admitted that she “pigs out” on junk food before she purges. A source told the Daily Express,
“Doctors are alarmed at the physical state she is in. They confronted her about her desperately unhealthy lifestyle and the truth came pouring out.
“For the first few days, she’d take her tablets, then go off and eat breakfast or lunch. She was throwing the whole lot up, so, naturally, her medications weren’t working. Now the medical experts know why, her progress should pick up a little speed.”
As a teen, Hairspray star Brittany Snow would eat less than 500 calories per day, exercise as much as three hours per day and cut herself. At her lowest point, the 5’4” former star of “American Dreams” got down to 85 pounds before seeking treatment for an eating disorder, depression and self-mutilation in 2005. Today, Brittany says she focuses more on being healthy than thin.
Reality show star Bethenny Frankel recently admitted that she engaged in a vicious cycle of binging and purging from the age of eight well into her thirties.
“I spent my entire life being obsessed with dieting. Bingeing and then fasting or starving. Forbidding everything. That’s how I used to be: up and down 5 pounds every single day, to the extremes. My metabolism was totally wrecked,” Frankel told US Weekly.
Frankel said that becoming a mother helped her reevaluate her fixation on diet and exercise and led to her creation of SkinnyGirl, an eating plan that promotes a moderate approach to weight control.
Though they bared their bodies in Playboy, pinups Sia and Shane Barbi said models are not to blame for society’s obsession with personal image; they, like many women, are victims of an over-emphasis on a waif-like physique. The sisters, known as the Barbi Twins, speak on campuses about their battle with bulimia and anorexia as part of Body Image Awareness Week.