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In a shocking TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, Portia de Rossi opens up about the extremes she went through to stay thin while on the set of "Ally McBeal," even admitting that she was only eating 300 calories a day.
"There is a point where a diet becomes a disorder. It's a gradual thing," she said. Portia admitted that she started dieting at age 12 when she began modeling, and resorted to laxatives and diuretics to get the weight off. "I felt it was what I needed to do to feel deserving."
In the midst of her eating disorder, Portia recalled that she once ran back and forth at the Beverly Center parking structure in Los Angeles to burn off the 60 calories she had consumed from chewing gum. "I saw a girl who was clearly starving herself ... but my eye went to the inches of fat." She said of that time in her life, "I would prefer to die, literally die, than fail another diet." The actress said it wasn't until she collapsed on a movie set that she realized she had a problem.
Portia didn't come out about being a lesbian until later in life, fearing that it would hurt her acting and modeling career. She told Oprah this secret only made things worse. "Having to hide something like that ruined me," Portia, who is now married to Ellen DeGeneres, said of her secret. "Hiding your sexuality is the worst way to live."
Portia met Ellen when she was at her heaviest, 168 pounds, and told Oprah she's "proud to be her wife." The actress recently changed her name to Portia DeGeneres. "Love really does heal," the actress gushed about her marriage.
Portia says her new book Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain is for anyone who's ever been on a diet.