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Portia de Rossi: On the Other Side of Her Eating Disorder

We've seen a lot of Portia de Rossi in recent days - accompanying her girlfriend Ellen to the Oscars, bragging to Barbara Walters about all of the citrus trees they have on their ranch in Santa Barbara (I only have a one lemon tree so I am bit jealous). I find it great that there is more of her than there used to be. I mean literally more of her. In 1999, at the height of her eating disorder while working on Ally McBeal, she weighed as little as 82 pounds.

At 5 feet 7 and half inches tall this makes her BMI 12.8 woefully low, too low to walk the runway in Madrid. During this calorie deprived, exercise obsessed time, her family gently intervened. Her mother and brother told her point blank that she was killing herself. Family support is so important when dealing with anorexia and other eating disorders, and they helped her turn the corner.

Portia is concerned that other actresses do not follow in her footsteps. She warns them "‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ because I have firsthand experience with being caught up in the whole Hollywood body thing.” She does also wonder if she was not a member of the Ally McBeal cast, where many of the actresses were famously underweight, if she would have gotten caught up in becoming dangerously thin.

After limiting her food intake to 300 calories a day back in 1999, she no longer puts restrictions on food. Which is great because there are so many great dishes to make with all the fresh citrus fruit.

Ellen has also helped her come to terms with her eating issues.

“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.”

Well I for one would love to see more of her. I miss her and Arrested Development and hope to see her on screen soon. I think it is great that she is talking about her experience.


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