Christy Carlson Romano, who is best known for playing Ren Stevens on Even Stevens, has recently revealed how “insecure” she was about her body image and how she developed an eating disorder.
In a new video on her YouTube channel, the 37-year-old actress opened up about her negative self-image and eating disorder, sharing that as a kid she was naturally “lanky, all arms and legs” and was bullied “because I was so skinny.”
She said it was just her shape, but people on the set of Even Stevens grew concerned that Romano was too thin.
Romano said, “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.”
At the time, she said she did not have an eating disorder, which “kind of came later.” And then a few years later, Romano was “dropping down to a weight size that I think was super-duper skinny.”
She said, “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. It’s just — I look at pictures from that time and I just know how unhappy and how unhappy the lifestyle was for me.”
Romano continued to struggle with her eating habits and self-image. At one point, she said she dated a man who said it looked like she was “starving.”
She said the first major change came when she met her husband, Brendan Rooney.
“So sad to say that it took meeting a guy [Rooney] for me to start to feel better,” Romano 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.”
She said, “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.’”
“For a long time I lived without an appetite, and that really stinks, because that’s kind of a metaphor,” she added. “You don’t have an appetite for life, you don’t have an appetite to like, get up and do things.”