You probably didn't know these celebs battled eating disorders

23 February 2014 / 2 years 8 months ago

Source: YourHealth / AsiaOne

1. Karen Carpenter 

She and her brother, Richard, formed the 1970s duo, the Carpenters. Carpenter suffered from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder which was little known at the time.

During her illness, in order to lose weight, she had taken thyroid replacement medication (to speed up her metabolism) and laxatives. 

She died at age 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to her illness. Carpenter's death led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders.

2. Paula Abdul 

Singer Abdul confessed to having had bulimia for about 17 years on a television interview. She had always viewed herself as too short and overweight, and described her eating disorder as self-punishment. She confronted her problem through psychiatric therapy.

During interviews with US media outlets, she revealed that she had suffered from the severe eating disorder for about 17 years.  She now feels she learned how to deal with her bulimia. "I feel pretty good,"she said.

3. Portia de Rossi 

Actress Portia de Rossi says her decades-long battle with eating disorders was an "excruciating" experience that drove her to starve herself and at times eat only 300 calories a day. She is famously married to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

"Ever since I was 12 years old, I would starve myself daily and then binge after the job was over. And that was just the diet I returned to every single time I needed to lose weight," she revealed on Good Morning America. 

Today, de Rossi says that when she looks in the mirror, she knows she's not perfect, but that's perfectly fine with her.

4. Janet Hsieh 

Despite the 33-year-old TV host's bubbly outlook, Janet confesses she wasn't always the picture of confidence and good health. For three years, she suffered clinical depression and a binge eating disorder. This happened shortly after she left medical school to pursue a modelling career in Taiwan.

"I wanted to succeed immediately and I became extremely dissatisfi ed with all my photos. I'd blame myself for every bad shot. I was convinced I looked fat and ugly so I tried really hard to lose weight.

"But the more diets I went on, the more food became an obsession - all I could think about was what I could and could not eat. I hated myself then. From my body and hair, to my weight and height."

To drop the kilos fast, Janet went as far as to limit herself to just plain water and three eggs for a whole week. 

"The worst part was I knew I was heading down a bad path the whole time but I couldn't stop myself. In the end, it was my medical background that saved me because I tried my best not to throw up and damage my organs," she says.

5. Calista Flockheart 

Actress Calista Flockhart admitted after years of being in denial that she struggled with anorexia while filming the TV show 'Ally Mc Beal'

Throughout her professional career, Flockhart has maintained her naturally lean figure. However, many have commented that Flockhart had become dangerously thin, particularly when the actress made red carpet appearances in clothing that revealed a somewhat emaciated physique. 

"I started under-eating, over-exercising, pushing myself too hard and brutalizing my immune system."

6. Ke$ha 

The 26-year-old singer said she wants to accept herself for who she is, and admitted she has struggled to embrace her own body despite being a "crusader for being yourself".

The 'Timber' hitmaker announced in Jan this year that she has entered rehab for an eating disorder and is said said to be undergoing treatment Timberline Knolls near Chicago, the same facility where Demi Lovato found help.

Ke$ha's friends initially thought she was "getting in shape" and didn't realise she had an eating disorder. While relieved that she has checked into rehab, friends admit it took them a while to realise something was wrong.

7. Lady Gaga 

In 2012, Lady Gaga announced that she has been suffering from an eating disorder for the past several years, and is now trying to recover.

In multiple photos posted to her website Little Monsters, Gaga, clad only in underwear showed off her body after reportedly gaining 25 lbs. In a caption, she wrote “Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15. But today I join the body revolution. To inspire bravery. And breed some compassion.”

8. Tara Reid 

The American Pie actress Tara Reid reportedly has struggled with anorexia after the breakup with fiance MTV DJ Carson Daly. "She survives on one meal a day and drinks gallons of Diet Coke and sparkling water, claiming it keeps her hunger at bay and that the bubbles fill her up," a source told Closer magazine.

She has not spoken at length about her rumoured eating disorders but has commented on her botched plastic surgery procedures, commenting: 'I got lipo because even though I was skinny, I wanted - I’m not going to lie - a six-pack. I had body contouring, but it all went wrong."

9. Nicole Richie 

The star of the Fox reality television series, The Simple Life, has previously been in and out of the news for her rail thin frame. On October 27, 2006, it was announced that Richie was seeking treatment for "an inability to put on weight," though it is not treatment for an eating disorder.

When asked about how she feels about her body now, the mother-of-two revealed that it is her natural tendency to be critical of her body, but that she has learned to override it. 

Asked point blank if she has an eating disorder, Richie has said she has never had an eating disorder, but admits that she was too skinny due to "not being careful." Shown photos of her skeletal frame, she said, "I see a girl that is obviously going through something and is much too skinny."

10. Jane Fonda 

Award-winning actress Jane Fonda revealed several years ago that she had been a secret bulimic from age 12 and struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 30 years. "I am a product of culter that says thin is better; blonde and buxom is best," reveals Jane.

Reeling form low self-esteem and pressure from studio heads to stay thin, the Oscar winner would vomit up to 20 times a day and exercise like a maniac - while hiding her disorders from husbands Roger Vadim and Tom Hayden. 

Jane reportedly finally got better in 1973 when she was pregnant with her second child Troy, and the choice was being a good mother and a bulimic.

11. Chrissie Chau 

Early 2013, fans of rising Hong Kong starlet Chrissie Chau expressed dismay after pictures of her attending a charity-fund raiser looking stick-thin made rounds on the Internet. The pictures show her with bony arms and her collar-bone protruding out sharply while wearing a body-hugging nude evening gown.

However, Chau denied being unhealthily thin and claims she is not suffering from any form of an eating disorder.  She said her weight loss is likely due to work pressure and too much exercise. She said she has tried to gain weight by eating four meals a day when she was on vacation in Thailand.

12. Geri Halliwell 

It has taken years, but Geri Halliwell says she has made it at last – she is finally happy with how she looks.

Over the years, Geri’s weight has fluctuated. At her heaviest she was nine stone. When she shrank to a tiny seven stone, close friend Robbie Williams intervened, and she finally sought help for her eating disorder.

13. Isabella Caro 

Isabelle Caro was a French model and actress who became well known after appearing in a controversial advertising campaign "No Anorexia" which showed Caro with vertebrae and facial bones showing under her skin in a picture.

Caro suffered from severe anorexia nervosa from the age of 13. Her anorexia was caused by what she called a "troubled childhood". Caro was hospitalized for the first time when she was 20. At her worst (in terms of weight), in 2006, she slipped into a coma. 

She died in 2010 in France. The cause of her death is unknown, although was probably as a result of immunodeficiency due to anorexia.

Check out the gallery for other weight loss transformations.

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