Sunday, May 19

‘Married with Children’ star Christina Applegate had anorexia while filming TV show

Christina Applegate admitted she endured an eating disorder while filming “Married with Children” as a teen.

Applegate began filming the sitcom, which ran for 10 seasons, at the age of 15.

“I just deprived myself of food for years and years and years,” Applegate revealed on the newest episode of “MeSsy,” the podcast she shares with Jamie-Lynn Sigler. “It was torture. It was f—ing torture.”

At the age of 15, Applegate’s mother put her on Weight Watchers.

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“She was always competitive,” the actress, now 52, said. “If I got down to 110 [pounds….], she’d be like… ‘How’d you do it?’ And the reason was, I finally had an eating disorder. I would eat five almonds in a day. And if I had six, I would cry, and I wouldn’t want to leave the house. And that stuck with me for years and years and years.”

While portraying Kelly Bundy on “Married with Children,” Applegate wanted to look skinny in the short skirts and revealing clothing she chose for her character.

“I wanted my bones to be sticking out, so I didn’t eat,” she confessed.

Applegate’s eating disorder did not go unnoticed at the time, but this is the first time the “Dead to Me” star has spoken about the issue publicly.

“It was very scary to everyone on set because they were like, ‘Christina never eats.’ And I didn’t. They talked to me about it.”

The costume department was altering her outfits to be smaller than size zero, according to Applegate. “But to me, I was enormous.”

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Applegate revealed she is still struggling with body image issues after her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis caused weight gain. She gained 45 pounds from side effects from the disease and the medication she takes.

“That demon in my head, it’s coming back really loud. And it’s scaring me,” she noted. “It hasn’t been there for a long time. I mean, it’s always a little bit there with anorexia as long as I did in my early life. It always plagues me. And then body dysmorphia and all of those things. They’re still always there.”

“I don’t look in mirrors,” Applegate continued. “This is obviously something people don’t know. I have writing all over my mirrors in my bathroom so that I don’t look in them. Because I will like fall on the ground and cry.”

Applegate has used humor as a defense mechanism while attending events since gaining weight, telling the audience at the 2024 Emmy Awards that she had a “body not by Ozempic.”

“I made jokes at the Emmys because I wanted to say, ‘I know what you’re thinking,'” she explained as she became emotional. “Had to say that because it was like I could see what they were thinking … I was so humiliated,” she explained. “That’s the demon. The demon is saying these things to me.”

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Sigler also struggled with body image issues at the age of 16, she revealed in the podcast episode.

“It was around that time and all my friends were talking about food and calories,” she recalled from her teen years. “Their bodies were changing and they were growing. And I remember I was on birth control at the time and I had gained weight from that, filled out a bit.”

“I just started taking note,” she said, of the way her friends watched their weight.

The actress, now 42, first noticed her body after watching herself in the pilot episode of “The Sopranos.”

“I was the fullest I had been ever. I didn’t look like any other young woman on any other show that I’d seen,” she explained. “There was a year between the pilot and the first episode and during that time, I had the eating disorder.”

Sigler admitted she suffered from exercise bulimia, which uses “excessive exercise as a compensatory behavior after binging episodes, or even just after eating,” according to The Bulimia Project.

“Every notebook, if you had a notebook from my sophomore and junior year of high school has like little numbers on the corner of it, just calculating food and calories,” she admitted.

Between filming for the pilot and season one of “The Sopranos,” Sigler said she got down to 80 pounds.

“They almost fired me because of how thin I was,” she admitted. “They were like, ‘whoa, no, no, no, no, no!” The show was so supportive and loving, and they just wanted me healthy.”

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