Anorexic Portia De Rossi almost proud to weigh 82 lbs

Portia De Rossi opens up to Oprah Winfrey about anorexia battle

Portia De Rossi lived on 300 calories per day during the height of her anorexia, a fact she shared with another well documented eating disorder victim, Oprah WInfrey.

A tearful De Rossi admitted that it was almost a proud achievement to weigh in at just 82 lbs.

It wasn’t that I was proud of it,“ she told her host, “But it was certainly a recognition for my self control.“

As part of her purging ritual she would take up to 20 laxatives a day and her sense of personal perspective was seriously derailed by a ‘win or oblivion’ mentality

I would prefer to die than fail another diet.“ Became her clarion call.

De Rossi’s problems began when she left her native Australia for Hollywood and landed a role in US drama ‘Ally McBeal’, starring alongside Calista Flockhart, who was also battling anorexia at the time.

I’ve often wondered if I wasn’t on that show if it (anorexia) may not have happened. I didn’t really know at that point what it was like to be a celebrity, and the only people I knew at the time who had a similar experience were these women whom I worked with. They became my role models.”

Portia De Rossi almost hits her lowest weight of 82lbs

Portia De Rossi almost hits her lowest weight of 82lbs

De Rossi though was fortunate to have help on hand and were it not for the love of her wife, Ellen Degeneres, she fears she would have been consumed by the illness.

The couple were introduced at concert for ‘Rock The Vote’ in March 2001 and De Rossi admitted she was instantly smitten. In that year things had gone awry as she’d been diagnosed with oesteoporosis, cirrhosis of the liver, organ failure and the auto-immune disease lupus.

Ellen has taught me not to care about other people’s opinions,“

She saw a glimpse of my inner being from underneath the flesh and bone, reached in and pulled me out.“

In August 2008 De Rossi married Degeneres, who is 15 years her senior, in a private ceremony in their Beverly Hills home.

Now, with her life on track, she has written a memoir detailing her struggles with anorexia called ‘Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain.’

Formerly anorexic Portia De Rossi admits to living off 300 calories

Portia De Rossi survived off 300 calories per day at the height of her anorexia, the actress has told Oprah.

A tearful De Rossi admitted that it was almost a proud achievement to weigh in at just 82 lbs. “It wasn’t that I was proud of it,“ she tells Oprah in the interview airing in the US on Monday. “But it was certainly a recognition for my self control,“ the Daily Mail cites.

The star also took up to 20 laxatives a day. She said of her mindset at the time, “I would prefer to die than fail another diet.“

De Rossi’s problems began when she left her native Australia for Hollywood and landed a role in US drama Ally McBeal, starring alongside Calista Flockhart, who was battling anorexia.

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“I’ve often wondered if I wasn’t on that show if it (anorexia) may not have happened. I didn’t really know at that point what it was like to be a celebrity, and the only people I knew at the time who had a similar experience were these women whom I worked with. They became my role models,” she told Vogue.

De Rossi claims that it was the love of wife Ellen Degeneres that finally helped her escape the clutches of the illness.

The couple were introduced at concert for Rock The Vote in March 2001 and De Rossi admitted she was instantly smitten. In that year things had come to a head and she was diagnosed with oesteoporosis, cirrhosis of the liver, organ failure and the auto-immune disease lupus.

“Ellen has taught me not to care about other people’s opinions,“ the Daily Mail cites De Rossi. “Ellen saw a glimpse of my inner being from underneath the flesh and bone, reached in and pulled me out.“

In August 2008 De Rossi married Degeneres, who is 15 years her senior, in a private ceremony in their Beverly Hills home.

Now, with her life on track, De Rossi has written a memoir detailing her struggles with anorexia called Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain.

Other figures in the public eye who have battled eating disorders include Melanie Chisholm of Spice Girls fame, actress Jessica Alba, singer Fiona Apple and socialite Mary-Kate Olsen.

Images: PR Photos

Portia de Rossi blames Hollywood for her anorexia

Though many women in Hollywood seem to live for the day and not think about the consequences of eating unhealthily, experts have long since warned that disorders such as anorexia and bulimia can have serious long-term repercussions. These can vary in severity from rotting teeth to death through starvation. Eating disorders are often said to develop from an early age and are usually linked to traumatic events experienced by the sufferer or to an unhealthy mental state. However, there is also evidence to show that people, especially women, in certain walks of life are more likely to develop a condition than others. Actresses and models feel the pressure to be thin, which equals to success and glamour in their field, every day and some will go to any lengths to achieve the perfect physique.

One actress who became a victim of this pressure is Portia de Rossi. The ’Ally McBeal’ star starved herself under the pressure to remain thin for the show, initially surviving off less than 300 calories a day. She later developed bulimia, whereby she consumed excessive amounts of food only to vomit it up afterwards in order to prevent weight gain. In 1999, Portia was diagnosed with anorexia. During her most critical period, her 5’7 frame weighed in at just 82 pounds, according to Caring Online. Talking to Vogue about this life-threatening state, she remarked: “I’ve often wondered if I wasn’t on that show if it (anorexia) may not have happened. I didn’t really know at that point what it was like to be a celebrity, and the only people I knew at the time who had a similar experience were these women whom I worked with. They became my role models”, Contact Music reported.

After much public scrutiny, Portia finally admitted to having anorexia on Ellen DeGeneres’ show. Talking candidly about her condition, the star commented: “We’ve talked a lot about this. I’m not proud of this struggle. “(While anorexic) it just seemed like I literally wanted to disappear. And now I would like to reappear”, Ask Men wrote. The actress also said that the real wake-up call came from her family when she went back to her homeland: “I went back home to Australia, and my brother and mother said, ‘You’re going to die.’ It really woke me up; I had to do something, or I would lose everything”, according to The Bosh.

Now, with the support of her family and girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres, Portia has managed to regain some of her old self and weighs a healthier 125 pounds. Recalling her troubled past, she said: “To this day, I’ll never deny myself any kind of food. Ever. I realized something was wrong when I stepped on the scale and saw 82 pounds. I don’t really regret much in my life, but I’ll never get the time back I spent worrying what the scale said”, the news provider reported.

The actress blames the pressures her profession put on her and delivered a message, recounted by Actress Archives, to other women who may be going through what she did: “Do as I say, not as I do, because I have firsthand experience with being caught up in the whole Hollywood body thing.”

Other celebrities who have suffered from anorexia include ‘Ally McBeal’ star Calista Flockhart, Kate Beckinsale and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz.

Image: Pulicciano