Christina Applegate reveals past struggle with eating disorder

Christina Applegate has spoken about her eating disorder struggle.
Christina Applegate has spoken about her eating disorder struggle. Photo credit: CNN

Christina Applegate spoke for the first time about her once-private struggle with an eating disorder on a new episode of her podcast.

Addressing her experience on her podcast "MeSsy," which she co-hosts with actor Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Applegate said that her self-described "body dysmorphia" began when she was a teenager but is "always there."

Applegate said that when she played Kelly Bundy on Married With Children, it was her own idea to wear what became Bundy's signature skin-tight costumes – a decision that ultimately escalated her body image struggle.

"I wanted my bones to be sticking out," Applegate said. "It was just a way of life. If I did eat something, I'd punish myself. I was never bulimic or anything like that, I just deprived myself of food for years and years and years. It was torture."

She added that "it was very scary to everyone on set" and "they talked to me about it."

Applegate said that she struggled with an eating disorder until her 30s, but that those "demons" still resurface. She tearfully recalled her appearance at the Emmys in January as an example of this.

At the ceremony, Applegate was greeted with a rousing standing ovation as she walked on stage with the assistance of a cane.

In August 2021, she shared that she was diagnosed with MS, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. After tearfully taking in the moment of acknowledgement, Applegate cracked jokes, including one where she said "body not by Ozempic," a reference to the drug often used to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease that has become popular for those seeking weight loss.

Applegate said on the podcast, "I made jokes at the Emmys because I had to say, ‘I know what you're thinking.'"

She added: "I was so humiliated."

The Dead to Me actor has been outspoken about her health struggles in recent years. She has been chronicling her journey with the disease through her "MeSsy" podcast alongside Sigler, who has lived with MS for over 20 years and has previously spoken about her own experience with an eating disorder.

Both Applegate and Sigler expressed that even though it's hard, they felt it was important to discuss their experiences to, as Sigler said, "take some power away from it."