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Diane Keaton recounts horrific bulimia battle: I ate 20,000 calories a day

Diane Keaton is healthy at 68, but struggled with eating disorders during her twenties and ate 20,000 calorie a day at the height of her bulimia.

Diane Keaton and Dr. Oz discuss eating disorder anorexia and bulimia
Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images

Keaton began her tortured battle with bulimia at 22 when she was told to lose 10 pounds while starring in the Broadway production of "Hair." Diane struggled with bulimia for four years, binge-eating and purging in secret.

"All I did was feed my hunger, so I was an addict," she said on the Dr. Oz Show (see video). "A typical dinner was a bucket of chicken, several orders of fries with blue cheese and ketchup, a couple of TV dinners, a quart of soda, pounds of candy, a whole cake, and three banana cream pies."

'I Was an Obese Person Inside'

While she has never been overweight, Keaton felt like a fat person inside. "I was an obese person who had somehow managed to hide it," she said. "When you're living a lie for four years, think about what that does. It wipes out any growth at all whatsoever."

Diane eventually went to a psychologist five days a week to overcome her addiction. Keaton decided on her own to stop binge-eating and purging and to this day can't remember exactly what triggered her decision. “One day I stopped [being bulimic]," she said.“I never, ever did it again. I just stopped and I don't even know why."

She, who detailed her battle in her 2012 memoir, Then Again, decided to go public with her eating disorder to help other women who may be struggling with similar issues.

"I think I'm a sister to all the rest of the women, and I'm sure men as well, who have had some kind of eating disorder," she said. Keaton discussed her thoughts on bulimia, aging, beauty, success and happiness in her new book, Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty.

Jane Fonda Struggled With Anorexia and Bulimia for Two Decades

Keaton joins a long list of Hollywood celebrities who have struggled with eating disorders. Jane Fonda, a fitness icon who has released more than 20 workout videos since 1982, battled the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia for more than 20 years.

Fonda, who overcame her eating disorders with lots of therapy, said choosing health over vanity finally helped her break the cycle. "When I was 45, I was going through a 20-year battle with anorexia and bulimia," Jane recalled in her memoir, Prime Time. “I think it was just a matter of deciding that I was either going to live or die. I went for the light. I went for living."

Fonda, who has maintained her regular workout regimen for more than 50 years, said eating well, minimizing stress and exercising daily has helped her get rid of her negative body talk and embrace aging.

Like many fitness fanatics, Jane exercises not only to look good, but also to feel good. "I know what exercise has done to my life profoundly — not just my body, but my mind," said Fonda, creator of the Jane Fonda Prime Time workout DVD. "I do what makes me feel good."

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