Sure it's a guilty pleasure and usually a lot of fun to watch, but the latest news that Alexis Bellino from the Real Housewives of Orange County has been battling an eating disorder since the age of 12 is anything but entertaining.
After her parents got divorced, Bellino says that she "just wasn't hungry," and later—after seeking treatment in 2002—realized that she was restricting her food in order to have control in her life (a common theme from those suffering from anorexia). At age 18, Bellino says she also became bulimic.
Calling her eating disorder a "lifetime disease" that she's not healed from, Bellino told the New York Daily News that she still eats less than 900 calories a day—well below the lowest recommended amount of 1,200 calories a day for those who are trying to lose weight. She's also frequently seen on the Real Housewives of O.C. exercising for long periods of time.
While Alexis may seem glamorous on TV, eating disorders can be life threatening and are not to be taken lightly or—worse—celebrated. If these eating-disorder symptoms sound familiar, contact the National Eating Disorders Association for help and treatment options.
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.