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Christy Carlson Romano Opened Up About Her Eating Disorder After

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“You don’t have an appetite for life.”

The 37-year-old grew up “lanky, all arms and legs.” But she recalled when people on the set of Even Stevens were concerned about her weight.

Lawrence Lucier / FilmMagic / Getty Images

“I’m sure they had the best intentions, but the rumor of me having an eating disorder came back to me. I was very hurt by it because I took it as though I was too thin, and there was nothing I could do about that. That was just the way I was, I wasn’t actively trying to have an eating disorder. … That kind of came later.”

John Sciulli / WireImage for Black Book Magazine / Getty Images

A few years after that, the 5’7″ actor had dropped to 105 pounds. “It’s just — I look at pictures from that time, and I just know how unhappy the lifestyle was for me. I remember drinking a lot, and I remember smoking lots of cigarettes, and I remember just not eating. … When I see myself thin in those pictures, I immediately think of myself as just being unhealthy.”

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic for Variety Magazine / Getty Images

She recalled the extreme pressure to be thin, especially if you wanted to work in the industry or go on dates. One guy saw a picture of her and complimented her by saying she was “starving.”

Christy said she was “too thin” until she met her husband, Brendan Rooney. “So sad to say that it took meeting a guy for me to start to feel better,” she said. “Like, I do not wish that for you. I do not wish for you to not realize your own potential until meeting someone. Like, there’s nothing stopping you from knowing your power.”

Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic / Getty Images

In the end, the Disney Channel alum revealed that pregnancy is what really helped her “turn a corner.”

Michael Tullberg / Getty Images

“I went from, like, some of my thinnest — I was probably like 110 — to 165. I gained like 50–60 lbs., and even my doctor told me, ‘Hey, maybe you want to slow down on gaining weight.’ And I was like, ‘No! Absolutely not! I have an appetite for the first time in my life.'”

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

“For a long time, I lived without an appetite, and that really stinks, because it’s also kind of a metaphor. You don’t have an appetite for life. You don’t have an appetite to, like, get up and do things unless you’re pushed to do them. Having an appetite is really important to your mental health.”

Now, the mom teaches her two young girls that their bodies are perfect.

“I love to talk to them about their bodies now. And what’s so amazing about inclusion and everything that’s happening right now are the bodies that we’re seeing in this concept of all bodies are great bodies. I am into that because my daughters need to know that their bodies are important. I express to them, ‘Your body is perfect, and you are great, and this body — you get one body. So treat it really, really well.'”

You can watch Christy’s full video below:

View this video on YouTube

Christy Carlson Romano / youtube.com

The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.

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