Diane Keaton’s Confessions About Bulimia Will Break Your Heart, But Make You Lurve Her Even More

HBO US Comedy Arts Festival

via Getty

The esteemed, yet quirky, Diane Keaton is an incredible actress, a style icon and an otherwise top notch celebrity. On May 8, the 68-year-old Academy Award winner admitted to having a severe eating disorder for a few years while she was in her 20s.

Keaton opened up about her past with bulimia to Dr. Oz. During the decade when she was becoming a real Hollywood star who would later make waves by acting in films like Annie Hall (1977) and Looking For Mr. Goodbar (1977), she was binging and purging on about 20,000 calories a day. Keaton’s quotations about her own suffering are beyond relatable for some who have had similar struggles.

On what it feels like to be bulimic:

“All I did was feed my hunger. I was an addict…”

It’s obviously not the case for all those with bulimic tendencies, but for some, it really does feel like all you can do is stuff yourself when there’s an emptiness in you.

When you’re consumed with consuming and then ridding yourself of food, it’s hard to feel like you’re progressing as a human:

“When you’re living with a lie for four years, it wipes out any growth whatsoever.”

Eating disorders take over your body and your mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re a movie star or a high school student, ED takes it all out of you.

According to Radar Online, Keaton shared a list of some of the foods she consumed in the throes of her disorder. That list included a bucket of chicken, multiple rounds of french fries with blue cheese and ketchup, two TV dinners, heaps of candy, a whole cake and three banana cream pies. Perhaps those who do not have a problem with binge eating, the thought of tucking into a few pies, a chicken bucket and big cake sounds kind of fun, but to those who compulsively eat, all of these flavorful and comforting treats are weapons you use to punish yourself. The act of purging in the aftermath is another way to self harm. Binging and purging is dangerous, scary, and highly distressing.

Thankfully, Diane Keaton recovered:

“One day I stopped…I never, ever did it again. I just stopped and I don’t even know why.”

This is not the case for everyone, but Keaton worked with a therapist and overcame bulimia.

It’s commendable that Keaton found the strength to work with a therapist and eventually stopped literally making herself sick. It’s more commendable yet that someone with her fame and status is willing to talk so candidly about bulimia, an eating disorder that’s given little attention compared to anorexia. Thank you, Diane Keaton! It’s nice to know what can be achieved after recovery. A tip of a bowler hat fit for Annie Hall to you.

H/T Radar Online

Share This Post:
    • Lindsey Conklin

      Aww this makes me sad, but so sweet that she admitted to this. I’m glad she’s better, I think she’s so awesome

      • Joanna Rafael

        It’s terrible that she went through it, but she made it out alive!

    • ScottMTuggle

      The act of purging in the aftermath is another way to self harm. Binging and purging is dangerous, scary, and highly distressing. http://num.to/8845-7247-2991

    • Benita

      She’s supporting Woody Allen! WTF is there to love?

      • Joanna Rafael

        This isn’t even about that.

    • ANONYMOUS

      I struggled with compulsive overeating starting at the age of 20. As I became heavier, the next phase of my life was trying every diet that existed. Then I found out about being able to eat anything I wanted, and throwing up.At first it was fantastic, and then it became a nightmare, because I couldn’t stop. It affected my health, my jobs, and my marriage.
      Yes, I tried different therapists over the years, but nothing worked. My family was greatly affected by my eating disorder. For 6 weeks I was in an eating disorder program with other people. I started binging and purging when I left, and I began swallowing 100 laxatives a day. I kept trying to stop every day while raising my son and being divorced. It was a life battle for me. I kept trying to suppress all my pain, and it also was an addictive habit.
      Finally, in 2004, I found a program that I first saw on 20/20. Then a few years later when the bulimia was strangling me, I saw an article in People Magazine about the same program.
      After completing it, I immediately stopped taking laxatives. Slowly the bulimia started diminishing through several years. I noticed that when I was stressed out, I would begin thinking about
      “My Monster”.
      Today it has been 7 years since I stopped completely. It takes work, and when I get very stressed I need to fix my situation. Now I cry and have to feel pain. If I eat a little too much, I ask myself why, and deal with my emotions.
      I always remember that it can come back, so I make an effort to stay positive, and eliminate any negativity in my life.
      There are physical affects from over 25 years of bulimia, that are now showing up in my life.
      I believe that there alot more 30-50 year old bulimics, that are not recognized, and talked about in the media.

      BULIMIA IS A VERY SECRETIVE, HUMILIATING, AND SELF-HATING EATING DISORDER, THAT
      PEOPLE ARE VERY EMBARRASSED TO DISCUSS.

    • champin111

      When I first watched “Annie Hall,” one of my first impressions of Diane Keaton was that she was too thin…and I almost knew she was another one of those “bulimic” actresses. It is sad when men can be “pot-bellied, bald and wrinkled” and young girls and women in our Society are expected to secretly glut and purge in order to conform to that standard beauty they see in the magazines. I have never binged and purged…because I think it is disgusting and can only imagine how much it must “burn” when the acid and food is purged. Does Hollywood make fun of these thin actresses…rarely, they mainly laugh at the fat ones…the ones who refuse to eat 20,000 calories a day and throw up what they eat. I loved Diane’s definition of what beauty is…she says look beyond the “yellow rose” there are so many other beautiful flowers to admire.