Christina Applegate Emotionally Recalls Long Battle With Anorexia


Christina Applegate is opening up about a past eating disorder.

“I’ve never discussed it in public ever, my battle with an eating disorder so it’s a big deal,” she tells her MeSsy podcast co-host, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who, like Applegate, lives with multiple sclerosis (MS). “And I think that’s why I wanted to do this today, because that demon in my head is coming back really loud and it’s scary to me.” 

She adds, “It’s always a little bit there. When you lived with anorexia as long as I did in my early life, it’s always plagues me.” 

Christina Applegate reveals she battled an eating disorder.Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Applegate said that the height of her eating disorder came when she began her career on Married With Children. At the time, she told creators that she wanted her character, Kelly Bundy, to wear more revealing outfits, inspired by “rock sluts,” which backfired, as she began to fixate on her weight more.

“Then I played Kelly Bundy and it was my choice to wear those outfits,” she says. “I was amazed by this rock culture and rock sluts and I thought it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I kinda shot myself in the foot because then I had to wear those outfits, and then I wanted my bones to be sticking out so I didn’t eat.”

She said it got so bad that the creators and producers of the show eventually had to step in. 

“And it was very scary to everyone on set because they would be like, ‘Christina doesn’t eat,'” she recalls. “They had talked to me about it.” 

Applegate shared that her eating disorder was amplified by the competitive nature of her mother, who also fixated on her weight and would make comments. In turn, the Dead to Me star said that she restricted her diet. 

Christina Applegate becomes emotional as she shares the moment she appeared at the Emmys.VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

“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. It was just a way of life. If I did eat something, I would punish myself. I was never bulimic, I just deprived myself of food for years and years,” she says. 

Applegate said that in her mid 30s, she began to heal from her eating disorder. However, she still struggles, especially after gaining 45 pounds as a result of her illness. 

“I don’t look in mirrors,” she says. “I have writing all over my mirrors so I don’t look at them because I will fall on the ground and cry. That is today. That is the girl who gained 45 pounds when she got diagnosed with MS.”

The Bad Moms star became emotional as she reflected on her surprise appearance at the 2023 Emmys, when she felt that people were judging her for body image. 

“No one tells you you look great when you have gained a lot of weight. I had to make jokes at the Emmys because I was like, ‘I know what you’re thinking,'” she said through tears. “I could see what they were thinking. I was so humiliated. Jamie, I was so humiliated. That’s the demon, it’s scaring me because I don’t want my daughter to see me not eat. And I want her to see me talk about these things. I’ve been really clear about not talking about this stuff with her, and I’m trying not to put myself down.”

Applegate shared that it took a friend telling her that she “looks really disgusting” amid all of her weight loss that inspired her to heal. 

She also revealed that she is still dealing with self-esteem issues, but she has a new love for food and reflected on the moment when she began to really love herself. 

“Turning 30, and turning 30 was when Marley said, ‘Eat the cheese.’ It was like all of that sort of happened, when I could stand in my own presence and my own strength and not be obsessed with something that was on the outside,” she says. “Like I said, my demon is talking, but man, do I love myself. As a person, I’m good mom, I’m not perfect, but I know who I am.”




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