Marie Osmond Remembers Being Body-Shamed as a Teenager: 'I Would Literally Starve Myself'
"They said I was an embarrassment to my family and I needed to keep the food out of my fat face," Marie Osmond recalled
Marie Osmond has dealt with many personal struggles throughout her career, including her son Michael’s death nearly 10 years ago.
During a recent interview with Fox News, the actress and singer, 60, opened up about her battles with weight and the hurtful words someone said to her about her body when she was just a teenager.
“From the time I started ‘Donny & Marie,’ age 15, I did starvation. I would literally starve myself for three days before taping, drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper with maple syrup so I can be skinny,” she told the outlet. “One day, I was taken out into a parking lot and one of the studio people told me that if I didn’t drop 10 pounds, they were going to cancel the show. They said I was an embarrassment to my family and I needed to keep the food out of my fat face.”
“I was 103 pounds — I’d kill to be 103 pounds. So I got down to 93 pounds,” she continued. “I never realized the mental abuse behind that. I went through other kinds, too. But those leave scars and traumas. I swear to you, every diet on the planet I tried.”
The singer, who joined The Talk as a co-host in May and completed her 11-year Las Vegas residency with her brother Donny Osmond last month, explained why she had difficulty managing her weight.
“I was taking care of my mother and I had put the weight on,” she recalled. “You eat when you’re tired. You eat inconsistently. And then you try to diet. But you’re also trying to raise a family.”
“I was the provider for my family, so I had to work,” she continued. “Eating was my way of coping with life. And you justify it, like ‘My bones are getting bigger’ or ‘I’m just going to be my mother.'”
Osmond went on to detail some of her family’s medical history. “Women in my family don’t live much past 60,” she said. “They put weight around their stomach. They also suffer from strokes and heart attacks. That’s what took my mother’s life. And I’m the only daughter.”
As the only daughter in her family of nine, Osmond’s mother left an emotional message before her death.
“I have eight brothers. The last thing she said to me was ‘Do not do to your body what I did to mine,'” she recalled. “Shortly after that, I was going through a divorce and I have eight children.”
One of Osmond’s son also gave her a heartfelt awakening.
“I remember my son took me aside on behalf of the kids and told me, ‘Mom, you’re all we have. We can’t lose you. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you’ve got to lose weight,’ she said. “That was the killer punch in the gut.”
After receiving meaningful words from her son and late mom, Osmond knew it was time to do something about her health. Pushing herself to get fit, the talk show host was able to lose weight successfully.
“I was doing Dancing with the Stars and I thought 50 extra pounds in spandex is not a beautiful combination. I was ready. It took me about four months to lose 50 pounds,” she said.
While some fans believe Osmond lost weight during her run on the dancing competition, the singer revealed the real secret behind her successful weight loss.
“People assume I lost it on Dancing with the Stars but that’s not true,” she said. “I started my journey before I did that show. And while I was doing Dancing with the Stars, Nutrisystem found me. … And it was fantastic.”
Despite dealing with personal hardships, Osmond kept her eyes on the prize.
“I was going through a divorce, a custody battle, I was dancing,” she recalled. “But it helped me get back to my healthier, happier self. I just can’t do steamed chicken and vegetables. It doesn’t work for me. … But I wanted to take care of me. And that’s what I did.”
Osmond recently starred in the holiday film, The Road Home for Christmas, which aired on Lifetime.
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This article originally appeared on People.com