Marie Osmond starved herself at 15 after being threatened by show producers

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Marie and Donny Osmond just ended their 11-year residency in Vegas, and in September, Marie joined The Talk. She has been shilling for Nutrisystem for over a decade and credits the company with her weight loss. She spoke with Fox News about her new job, her fluctuating weight over the years and how she’s going to stick with Nutrisystem:

On starving herself at 15
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. 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 *laughs*. So I got down to 93 pounds. 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.

On how diets don’t teach you to keep it off
And the thing with diets — they don’t teach you how to keep it off. You just take it off and then have to start all over again. And you’re feeling ravenous all the time. But taking care of yourself, finding the right plan will bring you so much joy. You can’t serve everybody else from a broken shell.

[From Fox News]

I’m so horrified, angry, and sad that Marie felt she had to lose weight at 15 to please a studio exec and keep her job. I’m glad that she recognized that as mental abuse and shared that realization as part of this story. While I can appreciate that she wants to be healthy (whatever that means for her) I can’t help but think about how those terrible words (and others that she’s likely heard over the years) are probably still affecting her, today, even just a bit.

I’m glad that Nutrisystem works for Marie, but it’s not for everyone. I don’t think that Nutrisystem inherently teaches you how to keep weight off, either, so it’s not all that different from the “diets” that she’s calling out. Taking care of yourself is important, as she notes, but that’s not exclusive to a following a paid plan. People need to figure out what works for them, and what is healthy and safe for their particular body and their particular needs. That might involve consulting with a doctor and/or a nutritionist, not just ordering prepared meals from a company.

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Photos credit: Avalon.red

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64 Responses to “Marie Osmond starved herself at 15 after being threatened by show producers”

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  1. Mignionette says:

    And this is just another reason woc are treated like shyt in the industry. As woc naturally lend toward curves, weight is just another thing used against them.

    Also in what universe is a 5’5″ and 103 Ib overweight ? Who is co-signing these ludicrous standards of beauty?

    • Some chick says:

      Nutrisystem is a pyramid scheme.

      There, I said it.

      • SamC says:

        How do you figure? I’ve never heard of NutriSystem being the weight loss version of Lularoe. There are definitely pyramid scheme weight loss programs, just had never heard that NutriSystem fell into that category.

    • Kat says:

      It’s all about how you look on camera…which adds weight roughly up to ten lbs. I don’t know much about cinematography but a person who’s head is slightly larger than their body is easier to shoot from a technical standpoint… hence the whole “Lollipop head” syndrome. I used to me a pro makeup artist and these are things I’ve overheard,

    • rrabbit says:

      That’s a BMI of 17.1, otherwise known as mild anorexia. Even with the effects of a camera added, there’s no way that is overweight. Abusive movie industry people, business as usual.

    • Mo says:

      As someone old enough to remember the Donny and Marie Show, I think some of the issue is that they were doing dance numbers with Marie in dance costumes along with the dancers. It’s probably easier to bully the fifteen year old into losing 10 pounds (especially if you are a dude who has no idea how female weight works) than it is to figure out how to costume and choreograph your dance numbers so that your leading lady looks good and pulls the focus from the professionally tall, willowy, and long legged dancers.

  2. Sparkly says:

    That is so sickening. I try to imagine someone talking that way to my kids, and I can’t even fathom someone being able to look them in the face and say something like that at such a vulnerable age. Of course, my stepdad did the same to me — and, yes, growing up hearing it, you internalize it. I was thin and gorgeous then, but I was big when it gave me a complex with food and I’ve stayed big even after learning and becoming more healthy. I think hearing it all day every day just solidified it as my reality. Maybe if I had money to buy prepared meals or legs that still worked I might be svelte again, but as it is, I’m just fat with blown knees from exercising incorrectly to try to shed weight I didn’t need to.

    • Guest says:

      @Sparkly. It’s disgusting that your stepdad did that to you. I’m sorry. I can still hear my brother’s “teasing” taunts about my being “fat.” Looking back at photos from that time frame makes me so angry because I WASN’T FAT (then). I only feel marginally better about it because all his hair fell out and then he gained 150 pounds.
      As far as exercising with your blown knees – get thee to a swimming pool! There are a bunch of programs specifically designed to work for folks who can’t put pressure on their joints.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      That’s awful, Sparkly. I’m so sorry your stepfather did that to you.
      My step GRANDFATHER did the same to me. He would tell me I had a “fat ass ” when I was 9 years old. He would say I should have a “skinny ass” like my cousin Kimberly. I thought I was fat when I was a kid because of that creep and I wasn’t overweight at all. I was just never a skinny kid. I mean, besides the fat shaming aspect of it, what type of man compares their granddaughters’ anatomy? He was a disgusting POS who I hope is rotting hell.
      Love to everyone who has body image issues because of something stupid some asshole said to them. 💕

    • Vava says:

      That’s so tragic, Sparkly. Sorry to hear it. I’ve seen similar behavior in my husband’s family, but in our case the criticism always came from my mother-in-law. Constantly harping on her granddaughters to be skinny, when she herself was NOT. I remember the time she called me up to complain about my niece’s weight (I have no children) and the reason this beloved niece of mine had gained weight was because she was on dialysis. She no longer had kidneys and I told this Witch (MIL) off right then and there. Absolutely disgusting behavior by a grown woman. She also pressured her two sons to starve themselves…one did, the other did not. My husband told her to chill out about people’s appearances. Now this woman, 97 years old has Stage IV cancer. Guess what she said to her nurses? That she was thrilled to finally be called skinny! Skinny because cancer is eating her body. Sick woman – in the head, especially!

    • Sparkly says:

      Thank you everyone for your kind words! And for sharing your stories as well, and I’m sorry to hear that it is such a common theme with so many children. We homeschooled for many years, but my youngest started asking if she was “fat” at 6 or 7 after being in public school. It’s so insidious and starts so young (she’s thin if anything, ftr). Vava, I’m really glad you stuck up for your niece even when she wasn’t around. Standing up to those types of people is so important.

      @Guest – I am far, far beyond rural so I have no access to year-round pools, I’m afraid. We do have a backyard pool that I can use in summer though. And I have recently resumed hiking, one of my big passions, even though it kills me to do. I find accessible trails that fit my capabilities and go even if it’s just for a short distance. I wish it wasn’t too cold to swim it off after a hard hike though!

    • Shirleygailgal says:

      oh honey i hear you…my step-father used to call me fat-head. as in thick, slow stupid and….fat. Some days I still hear his voice in my head. I was told so often I was fat that now….I am..

      • Sparkly says:

        I’m so sorry, Shirleygailgal! I hear it daily too. I try to cancel it out with positive stuff. Fat is still beautiful! So are you!

  3. BellaBella says:

    Those experiences are probably what contribute to the plastic-surgery madness. In this case, with her face.

    • Vava says:

      I don’t know if this is true, but Utah allegedly has the highest number of plastic surgeons per capita.

      • Lulu says:

        Yes, I’m from Utah & I’d venture to say this is most likely true. Plastic surgery is a BIG business here, as well medical spa procedures like Botox, fillers, CoolSculpting, etc. There are billboards ALL over the place advertising these things. Folks in Utah seem to care an awful lot about their appearances & what others think of them, which may have something to do with the prevalence of Mormonism and its culture of perfectionism, comparison, & keeping up with the Jones’.

    • lucy2 says:

      Probably. That, combined with stardom in youth, it’s a bad combination.

  4. manda says:

    Her story reminds me of poor Karen Carpenter, whose brother used to call her fat. She starved herself to death. The things people say!!

    • AnnaKist says:

      The brother contributed to her demise? What an effing pryck.
      And this shite still goes on…

      • manda says:

        I’m assuming he begged her to eat at some point, but by then the damage had been done. (Caveat–I don’t know this is true for a fact but I’ve heard it over the years, that her brother used to tease her for being chubby and then she of course became anorexic and died. I’m sure there was more to it than that, but it maybe planted the seed! I remember my parents talking about my belly when I was little)

      • Holly hobby says:

        Not just the brother but her folks too. Her folks were bad. Combined with her low self esteem and there you have it

    • Mo says:

      Richard Carpenter is a horrible human being. He and their mother bullied her over her weight AND was terribly controlling of the music that they made.

      There is a whole YouTube thing of today’s singers and musicians doing reaction videos to hearing Karen Carpenter for the first time. Or, if they’ve heard her sing, watch one of her drum solos.

      I had all of their albums and listened to them constantly. You can’t even get the originals anymore, only the new, updated versions Richard keeps making. And my dad took mine to a church yard sale years ago. Helped the homeless, but still.

  5. CharliePenn says:

    It’s painful how familiar her story is. I used to starve myself for three days at a time when I was in high school, and figured out to drink orange juice when it got so bad that I was lightheaded and afraid I would faint. Sounds like she used her own concoction to keep from actually passing out, the lemonade with syrup deal.

    Over the years I’ve heard from many women who had done the same. It’s scary to think young women are starving themselves, learning tactics to hide it, thinking they deserve to live like this. Starvation on this level also involves a natural “high”, after two days you’re feeling very altered and you feel like you must be a superhero or something, you get very weird in the head. I was still playing tennis on the varsity team, holding good parts in the school plays, and getting good grades in honors classes while starving myself in three day increments. I thought I had it all figured out and was making myself “good enough” for all the people and opportunities in my life.
    The young body can handle a lot. How many women share the same sad, difficult story of feeling pressured to literally starve in order to be “good enough”?

    • Candikat says:

      The lemon, cayenne, and maple syrup concoction was a thing in the 70s. It was resurrected around 2000 as “Master Cleanse.” Diet fads have a way of recurring in 25 year cycles, just in time to catch a new generation of people, mostly women, willing to pay for false hope. I expect to see it again around 2025. I wish we could break the wheel.

    • Teebee says:

      It’s very strange that the internet is alive with intermittent fasting as some life-extending miracle. The ultimate goal is to reach a 5:2 ratio I think, where two days a week you fast or restrict your calorie intake to 25% of normal and eat “normally” the rest of the week.

      All I can think is two things will result:

      1) you will start not eating normally on your “normal” days, you’ll become obsessed with calorie restriction and soon have disordered eating in general. You’ll probably see weight loss, maybe extraordinary loss, you can become addicted to it, and soon your system is completely messed up. It is unsustainable and soon you may find yourself with an eating disorder you never thought you’d experience.

      2) or you will do your best to fast. Then on your “off” days you’ll over over-compensate and overeat. You won’t see any results and you’ll chalk it up to another fad diet that doesn’t work.

      The diet/weight loss issue will plague us forever. Even when we know best we struggle. Even when we are often at our best we struggle. Classic Kobayashi Maru. Who’s gonna hack this system and figure it all out?

      • Bonita says:

        Fasting induces autophagy, a subject for which a Japanese scientist won the Nobel Prize for in 2016. Basically, your system will start to use the molecular “junk” that has built up over time when your body has been deprived of food for a certain amount of time. That molecular “junk” is often the cause of a variety of diseases.

  6. Embee says:

    I am so truly glad for Marie’s message and I’m sorry for what she has suffered. I don’t know if this is the right place/forum to post this but since the Celebitchies are probably the group of people with whom my values most closely align here goes…

    My almost 10 year old daughter is heavier than her peers, and is growing disproportionately heavier than them with each year. Right now she weighs 104 lbs and stands about 4’9″. She is active and we eat home meals 80% of the time. Not crazy healthy but normal: chicken and rice with a side of broccoli is a typical dinner. Breakfast is oatmeal and/or yogurt and occasionally an egg. I think her food is fine, She has a tremendous sweet tooth and self-soothes with sweets, often behind my back. We’ve moved a lot. I think this is the source of her anxiety. She’s not obese but I am afraid she is headed there. She expresses upset about her weight, but flies into hysterics if I deny her request for dessert (I try to do desserts as a “sometimes” thing…not every night).

    I know this is my fault. I parent her by myself because her father left before she was 1. It’s my fault and not hers. Does anyone have any recommendations for me because I am at a loss and I am trying to prevent her getting so unhealthy that she’s ostracized in high school. The doctors says just stay away from chips and sweets but I feel like we need a more…systemic approach to this issue. I’m sorry if this is weird.

    • CharliePenn says:

      As someone who also has anxiety and uses sugar as a self-soothing release, I suggest therapy for her. Working with a therapist and finding her own ways to soothe herself that do not involve sugar will help her more than if you try to do it for her (which of course you have tried to stop her from overeating sugar, it’s natural and it’s your job! But when we start to self-medicate we need to self-correct and we can get frantic if someone takes that sugar away when we aren’t ready, when we aren’t in control. She has to learn how to do this herself, with support from family and therapist).

      Also I highly recommend focusing not on the weight aspect but on the many, many health concerns raised by excess sugar. This is what I wish I knew when I was younger. I cycled between starvation and then sneaking away with sugar to medicate and soothe my anxiety. Sugar is inflammatory to joints, causes mental fog, is hard on many organs, etc etc. I suggest helping your daughter understand that sugar should be limited due to its harsh effect on many systems of the body. This includes but is not limited to sugar causing excess weight. But if we focus entirely on weight, we can get into dangerous territory. If we focus on how we don’t want to self soothe in any way that mistreats our body, that’s a manageable lesson that doesn’t have moral weight implications, and is a healthy thing to learn at a young age.

      I’m so sorry she’s going through this. I hope all that I’ve said can help even a little. I did many years of therapy to learn to stop self soothing with sugar (and there are still times when I fall back but it’s much much more in control now), and I my hope for your daughter is to start young and the lessons/changes in habit should come easier.

      • Embee says:

        Charliepin THANK YOU. This is exactly what I needed to understand. I can see now how many of her behaviors are self-soothing and how much pressure she feels daily. Tbh her anxiety mirrors my own but is expressed differently because she’s young. I will get her (and me) help on healthier anxiety management. Thank you for your time and wisdom.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      My weight issues began with my mother. I wasn’t overweight, but I wasn’t ‘skinny’ enough. And sometimes, after my period began at age 10, I’d fluctuate with five pounds over hear and there. She planned my meals. She took me to physicians. Hypnosis. Weight Watchers. Cabbage diet. Diet pills. Everything you could possibly imagine. I hated her for it. She used to bribe me too. If I lose five pounds, then I’d get whatever I wanted that month.

      Now I realize there are still parents out there who feel it’s their job to make everything ‘right’ and even to helicopter their way until the child is eighteen. But this is coming from a place of experience. From a teen girl who could stand to shed five pounds every now and then. From a strong-willed daughter who lived under a parents’ thumb (it would be even worse for a child who isn’t strong-willed). Decisions were never mine to make because I was too young. I couldn’t be trusted.

      Overeating to the point of obesity should be treated like any other serious addiction. But five, ten or 15 pounds shouldn’t warrant extreme measures and distrust. We simply can’t enforce a lifestyle. As a mom, I can buy the kinds of groceries all of us should be eating. I can have good snacks at the ready. I can have plenty of cool water bottles full, cold and ready to go in the fridge. I can cook everyone’s favorite meal with healthy adjustments. I can make sure my kids have fun stuff to do outside and go on fun discovery walks from time to time. What I cannot do is buy donuts for everyone’s breakfast, but tell one child they can’t have any. I can’t buy unhealthy foods, cook unhealthy meals and yell at my kid that he shouldn’t have that dinner roll. What I do, every single day, is live my life as close to what I want for my children as I can. I eat what they eat and they eat what I eat. We grocery shop together. And if it takes me going outside with them to get some exercise, that’s what I do. But eventually, they’d rather hang with their friends lol.

      I hope I haven’t stepped on toes or been too wordy. My weight and body image would be a forever problem because of an overbearing mother. However, once mother backed off (not until my senior year in high school) I ate what I wanted, dieted when I needed to, exercised doing things i loved and ended up staying at my mother’s precious magical number of a hundred pounds lol. For a person to change, they have to want it. They have to be the master of their plan. Even if they ask you to help, you must steer them to their own decisions. Their successes will be theirs alone to revel in as well as suffering through setbacks.

      • Embee says:

        This is really helpful Mabs – thank you for your perspective. My daughter is strong-willed and I agree that she needs to feel in control. It’s a hard line to walk, but I think erring toward a lighter touch is appropriate. I’ve not heard one person say “My mom controlled my diet and I am so glad she did.”

      • A says:

        The trouble with parents, and I hope this is okay to say, is that they’re fundamentally just plain old human beings. Which means they’re fallible. They make mistakes. They’re reflections of society’s poor opinions. I know this is the case with my parents. I’m sure this is the case with yours as well, Mabs. When they say that they did what they did out of love, they really do mean that. But because they’re hopelessly doomed to be imperfect as people, the stuff they do isn’t always that great. Does this mean they shouldn’t be held accountable? No. But society views parenthood as something stagnant, something that you can’t learn or develop or evolve in any capacity, when that is hardly the case. I feel like if we all started to acknowledge that vulnerability, just as we do in other parts of our lives, we’d be better for it.

        @Embee, I think it’s very telling that your daughter desires control over her own life. I have zero doubt that she sees food as one avenue where she can do that. I would not be surprised if her thought process is, “I can’t control much, but I can control what I eat, and that makes me happy,” which is why she’s doing it. The reason she’s upset when you don’t let her have dessert is likely not just because she was a sweet-tooth, it’s also because she’s not in control in this situation, and that loss of control makes her unhappy. Maybe what you can do instead is talk to her about what she likes for dessert that are maybe some healthier options, have those ready, and let her choose what she wants to eat so that she doesn’t feel like she doesn’t have control? As it is, if she’s only 4’9″ and 104 lbs as you’ve stated, she’s not really that overweight at all? Even the BMI scale, which is flawed, states that she’s at a healthy weight, so I’m not fully sure about the concern here.

      • Embee says:

        A, I agree that finding appropriate areas over which to exercise control is a good idea, and more particularly over her desserts! Thank you! And agreed: parents are flawed humans like the rest of the species.

    • A says:

      You need to stop getting on your daughter’s case. I’m sorry if that’s harsh. But I’m really sensitive to this issue because I see it in my own family. It ruined my mother. It hurts my sister deeply. I’m “lucky” enough to look skinny, but even then, my parents have gotten after my case if they think I’ve gained a few. It makes me feel like sh-t. It makes me feel like eating more. It makes me feel like I’m not good enough for my own parents.

      Your daughter’s issue isn’t food. It’s her emotions. You cannot solve an emotional problem by externalizing it, because the problem isn’t that she’s eating more, it’s WHY she’s eating more. What is the emotional purpose of food for her? What need is it filling within her when she overeats? You have to get to the core of what’s prompting her to cope with her emotions like this. That takes time and patience.

      The other thing I desperately need you to understand is that she might not lose the weight, even if you get to the heart of the reasons for why she’s overeating. You need to understand that the weight isn’t the problem here. Nor is her food intake. It’s whatever is going on in her life that’s causing her to use food as a coping mechanism. It’s critical to stop framing this as a “weight loss” issue and start framing it as a “my daughter is struggling emotionally and she needs help” issue. It’s vastly preferable to be an adult on the overweight side, who still grew up with a sense of resilience instilled within them in a young age, who has the confidence to weather the world’s many challenges, who has learned the tools necessary to not use food (or other substances) as a coping mechanism for when things are bad, than to be a stick-thin, skinny adult with poor emotional management and zero confidence in oneself, whose entire self-worth is practically non-existent and hinges on a number on the scale, who binge eats to cope with negative emotions. And I’m speaking entirely from experience.

      And I know you love your kid, but you’ve got to stop telling her, implicitly or explicitly, that her worth as a human being is tied up in her weight or the food she puts in her body. Food is value neutral. There is no good or bad food. Eating one food vs. another doesn’t make you a good or a bad person. Being a certain weight doesn’t make you a good or a bad person.

      Speaking from my own experience–I had undiagnosed ADHD and anxiety. The emotional component of ADHD that doesn’t get discussed as often is the way it makes you act more impulsively when it comes to certain things. I was dealing with a lot that was out of my control, that was making me deeply unhappy, and food was one of the few things in my life that did give me some type of satisfaction. The thought process for me was often, “I can’t have a lot of things in my life right now, but I can at least have this,” when it came to food. It’s also really hard when you have ADHD to think about long-term consequences or delayed gratification. You’re really caught up in the moment, in how you feel right NOW, rather than how you’ll feel down the line. Food was immediately satisfying. Sitting down and figuring out that hey, I needed better ways to cope with my life, was not.

      I’m not saying your daughter has ADHD too or anything like that. But I would strongly advise maybe talking to her about what’s going on in her life. Encourage her to think about why she wants to eat when she does. What is going on in terms of her emotions? I’d really advise you to talk to a therapist who can work on a process for this that you can practice with her. Like a set of questions or something that she can ask herself when she feels the need to eat. And don’t police her or withhold her food or anything like that. That’ll just make the emotional component to all of this so much worse.

      I dunno. There’s a lot to this that I don’t think can be covered in just a single comment. I think it’s above yours or my pay grade to deal with on its own. I got a lot better with the whole emotional eating thing after I was diagnosed properly. I’m still not great. I still eat emotionally sometimes, but it’s less a compulsion, less motivated by dissatisfaction with my life, and more because I’m just not making the time for myself to cook properly or buy groceries. I hope I at least helped and gave you something to think about, and I hope I didn’t come off as too judgmental or asshole-ish in the process. This stuff is really really hard for your daughter, I’ll bet, and I’ve noticed from my observations that society is just much more interested in being cruel towards fat people than in actually addressing the issues. All I can say is that it’s important to approach this with kindness, and the understanding that the weight or food isn’t the issue. I hope that helps somewhat.

      • Shelley says:

        It helped ME! So – THANK YOU!

      • Ali says:

        A – This is the the best sentence on parenting goals I’ve ever read.

        It’s vastly preferable to be an adult on the overweight side, who still grew up with a sense of resilience instilled within them in a young age, who has the confidence to weather the world’s many challenges, who has learned the tools necessary to not use food (or other substances) as a coping mechanism for when things are bad, than to be a stick-thin, skinny adult with poor emotional management and zero confidence in oneself, whose entire self-worth is practically non-existent and hinges on a number on the scale, who binge eats to cope with negative emotions.

      • Embee says:

        A, thank you for your words and your concern about my daughter. Rest assured I am not “on her case” or telling her her worth is tied up in her appearance. What I am seeking (and finding – thanks CBs) is what I can do to help her because clearly just providing healthy food choices is not it. Thanks for your insight and sharing so much of yourself.

    • ClaireB says:

      Embee, I’m someone who has self-soothed with sugar my whole life, and I’ve found that doing yoga daily and getting more consistent mental health treatment have seriously changed both my appetite and how processed foods taste. My eating habits have improved and now I don’t like the way my body feels when I binge on treats or even just processed foods. Addressing my anxiety directly with treatment and soothing it and my body by focusing on my stretching and breathing in yoga have improved my life tremendously.

      Best wishes to you and your daughter.

      • Embee says:

        I agree! Yoga helped me stop punishing myself and using “maladaptive coping mechanisms” years ago, and continues to be a part of my life. She’s an avid ballerina and if I package it as being good for dance I think I will get a ready buy-in!

    • Carol says:

      Our youngest was starting to gain weight disproportionately to his size. His doctor was very gentle about it, but was becoming concerned. We finally told him he would join cross country when it was offered in middle school. The doctor heard me explaining to him that he had the same problem as his dad and I have: our hobbies are sedentary in that we like to read and write and draw. We had given him chances to exercise before without luck; now he would have to try running. The doctor agreed with us whole-heartedly. Son was not pleased and told everyone that summer that he was being forced. Luckily, we knew that the school’s cross country team was a great family in which everyone just roots for everyone. He ended up loving it. It was the kickstart he needed. That plus a growth spurt, and he was back to a healthy weight within the year. He has been on cross country for 3 years now and is happy and proud whenever he sets a new personal record.

      • Embee says:

        That’s wonderful Carol! She shows some interest in running (her cousins do) and I agree that particularly a sport like running is a confidence-booster. So happy for your son!

    • BellaBella says:

      Embee, If I were you, I would try to find a physical activity that your daughter enjoys. Like ballet or some other kind of dance. Or bicycling. Horseback riding. Whatever.

      When I was a kid I was a ballet nerd and danced every single day. I also bicycled everywhere because my parents were otherwise occupied and unable to drive me places.

      Since growing older I have always struggled with my weight, but I remember reading this and it is what works for me: Do something twice a day that makes your heart beat fast. Whether it is a strenuous walk or swimming or whatever. If a person does something twice a day for an hour or a half an hour that makes their heart beat fast, and the diet remains the same, there is a very good chance of losing weight.

      I would encourage your daughter to start with one thing and then down the road increase to two activities a day. Moving your body is the key. Kids’ lives these days are so sedentary. I used to walk 3 miles to school and back every day. With steep hills!

      You might also have her try something like chi gong, which is a gentle form of movement and meditation combined, and is pretty much the future in terms of maintaining a balanced spirit and body. I did it for a while and loved it. If you could find a class for your daughter (a lot of YMCAs have them now), she’d be involved in something “cool” and totally ahead of the pack, which might boost her confidence at the same time as balancing the energy in her body.

      In any case, the best solution I can offer is to help her find a physical activity that brings her joy.

      • Embee says:

        BellaBella she’s a dancer! She practices from 5:30-8, 2 times a week and dances around the house constantly! I love what ballet does for her self-confidence and of course I just love to watch her dance and choreograph numbers for herself. And I agree that children are WAY too sedentary (as are we adults, truth be told). I like your “move 2 x day” rule…I know that when I adhere to it EVERYTHING gets better.

  7. Vava says:

    It’s a problem in our society and has been for a long time. I wonder when it started? I doubt people in the 1800s had pressures like this. Now it seems as if people get hit from every angle – news media, models, bloggers, Instagram influencers, fashion sites. It’s no wonder eating disorders are so common. Even people who are naturally thin feel the pressure. Celebrities aren’t helping, either. Duchess Kate is an example along with others. Before they reach fame they are a healthy weight but once they hit the limelight then the starving begins. They continue it because they get positive feedback. I can’t imagine the pressure, but I would hope if I were in that situation I’d fight it. Every body is different. Not everyone is stick thin, nor should they be. So what if the camera adds 10 pounds? People in the entertainment industry need to stop doing this shit to performers.

    • Christin says:

      When a co-worker’s daughter (age 12-13) had two trips to a clinic for anorexia treatment, I tried to research how long ago that was a known issue. It goes back to the 1920s-30s, and possibly further back than that. When I think about corsets and the advent of cosmetics, etc., that makes sense. Appearance, appearance, appearance.

      The first I ever heard of it was in the early 1980s (Karen Carpenter and a couple of HS classmates).

    • A says:

      I think that standards of beauty have always shifted as the centuries pass by. But I don’t think it’s ever been quite as pervasive as this. The whole emphasis on being skinny is really something that I think only came into its heyday in the last couple of centuries. I think societies definitely had their preferences about who looks good and who doesn’t before, but I also think that people were happy as long as they weren’t dead. The whole idea of skinny = healthy is a relatively new thing, especially in comparison to other points in history, where healthy = not dead, and you didn’t spend much time sweating the details.

  8. Dizzy says:

    I remember watching Donny and Marie and I remember my Dad always commenting “look how pointy Maire’s knees are”. She was so skinny her knee bones could be seen poking out of all her gowns. That was 40 years ago and I still remember! Very sad story.

    • minx says:

      I remember that, too. She was extremely thin.

    • truth fairy says:

      Yes. Like all the Osmonds, she has a round face so she didn’t look anorexic otherwise. But remember the story about how her brothers ‘wouldn’t let her’ wear anything the exposed her arms because of their Mormonism? Hmmm

  9. JennyJenny says:

    Well, after struggling with the weight gain chemotherapy did to me, I’ve decide to give Nutrisystem a try for a month or 2.
    I’m hoping it’s just enough to lead me down the path of smaller portions and less desserts. I need the structure.

  10. Mumbles says:

    I just google Imaged shots from the 1970s show and yes, she was slim. One interesting thing is she had a very full face, as many teenagers do. It actually was adorable. But I think it helped hide how thin she actually was to the viewers.

  11. adastraperaspera says:

    I have always wondered where her parents were in all this. She was also sexually abused around the same time. I know her father pooled all their money and had it managed by someone who mismanaged/embezzled it for a loss of $80-$100 million. Is this why she had to keep working no matter what?

    • Christin says:

      I can remember their show being on TV as a child, and my father commenting on how he felt it was terrible that a father would put his children to work like that.

      I don’t know that their father ever worked at anything other than the children’s career, so they probably did have to support the parents.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I was wondering too – why wasn’t a parent on set to tell off those producers?
      I feel for Marie, she’s been through a lot. I hope she’s happy now.

    • Holly hobby says:

      Yes they had their own television studio in Utah. When they lost their money to some scammer they had to sell that and a few properties. That’s when Donny started really heavy duty performing.

  12. Rachel says:

    It’s awful that she was pressured into doing something like this. Especially at such a young age.

  13. JanetDR says:

    I recall restricting my eating the summer I turned 16. Not dieting per se, but going on a 5 mile hike and then having 1 poached egg and an orange and then nothing else until suppertime. I lost weight (about 15 pounds) and was feeling pretty good and enjoying wearing new clothes when school was back in session A male teacher called to me down a hallway (when no one else was present) “Five more pounds, Janet”.
    It was rather upsetting as I was so proud of myself. Maybe straight out fasting would have done it, but I’m glad I didn’t try it.

  14. meg says:

    saying she was an embarrassment to her family, is lopping them in to give marie peer pressure-that’s a form of emotional abuse too. its like abusers have this handbook they were given on how to operate.
    I was told by my mother, ‘everyone thinks the major you picked is stupid too.’
    turns out ‘everyone’ was only people who agreed with her after she put words in their mouths.

  15. ejodee says:

    Many of us did starve ourselves at age 15 in response to a threat by x personality. Marie Osmond is one of us. May we band together and heal.

  16. SJR says:

    Many of us have had this same experience, very often family members. In my case, it went on for years, Dad and all my brothers called me fat repeatedly from the time I was 14. “Well, if I don’t pick on you, who will?” Why does anyone need to make another feel belittled, ever? Kindness. Kindness. It takes so little effort to show kindness.