Singer Mary J. Blige opened up about her harrowing alcohol and drug abuse on the Dec. 16 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
Blige, 42, told Dr. Oz she struggled with alcoholism and cocaine addiction for many years before embracing the healthy lifestyle she now leads.
Blige stopped doing cocaine during her twenties but continued to drink to excess into her thirties. Mary J. told Dr. Oz an abusive childhood gave her low self-esteem, which she coped with by getting high.
Blige said she cultivated a tough-girl image as a teen to deal with her self-hatred. "I hated myself," she said. "I didn't know how to show myself love."
She had an epiphany when she realized during a drug-fueled haze that her addictions could end her life. "I knew I was going to die, but I did not want to," said Mary J.
Blige also credits the love and support of her husband, Kendu Isaacs, for helping heal her emotionally. While Mary J. used to drink alcohol on social occasions, she stopped drinking cold-turkey after the tragic 2012 death of her friend Whitney Houston.
Dr. Oz said it's never too late to improve your health by cutting back on alcohol and drugs, no matter how long you've abused them. "The liver recovers completely [once you stop drinking and doing drugs]," he said.
Blige, a nine-time Grammy winner, said she's in the best shape of her life now after overhauling her diet and working out regularly. Mary J. showed off her rippling abs on the December 2013 cover of Shape magazine.
"I had to really suffer for that cover shot," said Blige, who follows a low-carb, gluten-free diet and works out almost every day doing cardio exercise, strength-training, and swimming.
Dr. Oz Reveals PMS Relief
In a separate segment of the show, Blige told Dr. Oz she suffers from severe pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) every month, which makes her feel bloated and miserable.
Dr. Oz said you can relieve most of your PMS symptoms by eating the right foods and avoiding others. He suggested the following:
1. Cut back on salty foods. Salt fuels water retention and bloating.
2. Avoid sugar. This causes blood-sugar swings that lead to wild mood fluctuations.
3. Avoid white wine. This drains vitamin B6, which you need to fight PMS.
4. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine intensifies PMS-induced anxiety.
5. Eat nuts. Dr. Oz they're a good option if you crave salty, crunchy snacks.
6. Have some cheese. The calcium and vitamin D in cheese alleviates PMS depression.