Christina Applegate Says She Battled Anorexia During "Married... With Children"

    "I would cry and I wouldn't want to leave the house."

    This post contains discussion of eating disorders and body image struggles.

    At this point, you know Christina Applegate from tons of things.

    A closeup of Christina Applegate

    If you're a TV viewer of a certain age, you also know that Christina got her big break on the irreverent TV sitcom Married... with Children, which aired for 11 seasons starting in 1987.

    Closeup of a young Christina Applegate

    On the latest episode of Christina's MeSsy podcast that she cohosts with Jamie-Lynn Sigler, the actor revealed that, while she was on Married... with Children, she was also battling anorexia.

    Closeup of Christina Applegate

    "I just deprived myself of food for years and years and years," Christina said while talking about struggling with anorexia. "It was fucking torture."

    Christina sitting on a couch with Ed O'Neill in a scene from "Married... with Children"

    Christina, who also noted that she's previously "never discussed" her eating disorder in public, revealed that her mother put her in the Weight Watchers program when she was just 15 years old, at the beginning of Married... with Children's run.

    Christina sitting on the family couch with Katey Sagal from "Married... with Children"

    "If I got down to 110 [pounds], she'd be like...'How'd you do it?'" Christina recalled. "And the reason was, I had an eating disorder."

    "I would eat five almonds in a day. And if I had six, I would cry and I wouldn't want to leave the house. And that stuck with me for years and years and years."

    Closeup of Christina Applegate

    "I wanted my bones to be sticking out, so I didn't eat," Christina added while discussing the revealing outfits that she often wore on the show. "It was very scary to everyone on set because they were like, 'Christina never eats.' They talked to me about it."

    Christina also revealed that, at one point, the show's wardrobe had to start taking in size zero dresses because she'd lost so much weight. "But to me, I was enormous," she recalled.

    Christina Applegate portraying Kelly Bundy from Married with Children, wearing a tight short dress and bracelets

    Christina also said that she was able to gain control over her eating disorder in her 30s — but that she's also struggled with body image in her battle with MS. "The demon in my head is coming back really loud, and it's scaring me," she said. "I need to be aware of it so I don't start falling into bad habits of hurting myself."

    Closeup of Christina Applegate on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Christina also addressed the remark she made at the 2023 Emmys earlier this year, where she referred to herself as "body not by Ozempic" — a reference to the popular diabetes type 2 drug that some (including celebrities) have turned to for weight loss.

    View this video on YouTube

    The Emmys / Fox / Via

    "I made jokes at the Emmys was like I could see what they were thinking...and I was so humiliated," she explained. "The demon is saying these things to me."

    Closeup of Christina Applegate at the Emmys

    Christina ultimately expressed a determination to make sure her daughter Sadie grows up with different messaging around body image issues than she did.

    Closeup of Christina Applegate and her daughter Sadie on the red carpet

    "I don't want my daughter to see me not eat," she said. "I've been really clear about...trying not to put myself down...I have bad self-esteem issues and have my whole life. I don't want that for my kid."

    Christina Applegate wearing a patterned blouse with ruffled collar and gold earrings

    You can listen to the entire episode here.

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