Christy Carlson Romano Opens up About Eating Disorder She Developed After 'Even Stevens'

In a harrowing YouTube video, Christy Carlson Romano reveals she once struggled with an eating disorder. The Evens Stevens alum shares how growing up in the spotlight led to an unhealthy relationship with her body image –– which later developed into a full-blown eating disorder. 

She described being naturally "lanky" and skinny for most of her life, but once she reached Disney Channel fame, conversations that she was "too skinny" started to surface. Rumors began circulating that the issue was more than just a high metabolism. 

"I'm sure they had the best intentions, but the rumor of me having an eating disorder came back to me … and I was very hurt by it, because I took it as though I was too thin and there was nothing I could do about that. That was just the way I was, I wasn't actively trying to have an eating disorder," she said in the video, adding that the disorder "kind of came later."

"I remember drinking a lot and I remember smoking lots of cigarettes and I remember just not eating and waking up at like, later parts of the day and not prioritizing my health in general," she explained of her experience. "It's just — I look at pictures from that time and I just know how unhappy and how unhappy the lifestyle was for me." At one point in time, Carlson Romano admits her weight dropped drastically, hitting 105 lbs. 

The actress credits her first major changes to her now-husband Brendan Rooney. "So sad to say that it took meeting a guy [Rooney] for me to start to feel better," she said. "Like I do not wish that for you. I do not wish for you to not realize your own potential until meeting someone. Like there's nothing stopping you from knowing your power." Rooney, according to Carlson Romano, really helped her change her lifestyle. Though, a second change would soon come that would push her to appreciate her size –– the pregnancy of her first daughter, Isabella. 

"I went from like, some of my thinnest — I was probably like 110 [lbs.] — to 165. I gained like 50-60 lbs., and even my doctor told me, hey, maybe you want to slow down on gaining weight, and I was like, 'No! Absolutely not! I have an appetite for the first time in my life,' " she said. "For a long time I lived without an appetite, and that really stinks, because that's kind of a metaphor. You don't have an appetite for life, you don't have an appetite to like, get up and do things."

"Once I had that weight on my body, which I hadn't had, ever, I was really loving my body. Like I was really loving the way that I felt and looked, and I felt like a woman," she added. "I had curves for the first time and I felt good. I felt like I didn't have to make any excuses for being too thin or anything like that. I felt really good."

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Now that she's looking at herself and life with a healthier outlook, the actress says she and her husband hope to impart healthy body image thinking on their daughters. Along with Isabella, she and Rooney are also parents to a 2-year-old daughter named Sophia. "I love to talk to them about their bodies now," she said. "And what's so amazing about inclusion and everything that's happening right now is that the bodies that we're seeing in this concept of all bodies are great bodies. I am into that, because my daughters need to know that their bodies are important, and I express to them, 'Your body is perfect, and you are great, and this body — you get one body, so treat it really, really well.' "