Christina Applegate Opens Up About Past Eating Disorder: “I Wanted My Bones to Be Sticking Out”

On the latest episode of their podcast MeSsy, Christina Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler reflected on their previous struggles with eating disorders.

Applegate recalled that her mother put her in Weight Watchers when she was 15. “She was always competitive,” said the actress about her mom, who had body image issues of her own. “If I got down to 110 [pounds]… she’d be like, ‘Oh! I’m so mad! How’d you do it? How’d you get down to 110?’ And the reason why was because I had an eating disorder.”

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The Dead to Me alum said she would eat five almonds in a day and if she had six, she would cry and would refuse to leave her house. “That stuck with me for years and years and years,” she said.

Looking back at playing Kelly Bundy on Married…With Children, Applegate noted that it was her idea to wear the revealing outfits that showed off her body. “I kind of shot myself in the foot because then I had to wear these outfits and I wanted my bones to be sticking out,” she said.

Applegate then shared that she would refuse to eat on set, which the cast and crew noticed and approached her about. She also recalled that the costume department had to take in pants that were size 0 during the second season because they were too big on her.

It wasn’t until years later that the actress realized she had a problem. “I was sitting on the toilet and I saw only bones and it scared the shit out of me,” said Applegate. In her 30s, Applegate began eating normally and “figured it out.”

Sigler shared that when she was 16, before starring in The Sopranos, and her friends were fixated on calorie counting and sabotaging their own meals. After gaining weight from birth control, Sigler began “taking note” and began cutting out certain foods from her diet, until ultimately stopping eating altogether.

“I shot the pilot of Sopranos and I was the fullest I’d been ever,” she explained. “There was a year between [shooting] the pilot and the first episode. During that time, I had the eating disorder.”

Sigler said that seeing herself on camera fueled her eating disorder, as she felt that she “didn’t look like any other young woman on any other show.” She explained that she developed “exercise bulimia,” where if she ate anything, such as a piece of gum, she would ask to go to the bathroom so she could burn the calories of the gum she just ate. By the time that The Sopranos was picked up, she weighed 80 pounds.

The Sopranos alum said that when she returned to the set of the HBO series a year after shooting the pilot, her drastic weight loss was concerning to the crew, so she decided to overeat in fear that she would lose her job. “Thankfully, the show was so supportive and loving that they just wanted me healthy,” she said.

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