Photo Credit: Jenny Craig/Kambouris/WireImage
Never one to pull punches, actress Carrie Fisher was more than forthright when first asked why she decided to become the new face of Jenny Craig. "I'm fat," Fisher says frankly. "All the clothes in my closet belong to another chick. They have to make a new alphabet for my bra size."
But in an interview with iVillage, Fisher reveals a more sensitive side, sharing personal insights about her body image. While Carrie was aware she was gaining weight over the years, she hadn't realized exactly how much until her friend, actress Beverly D’Angelo, snapped a picture of her. “And that was it,” she recalls. “I looked pregnant -- with twins.”
Fisher, who has spoken out about her struggles with drugs, alcohol and bipolar disorder, admits that she often turned to food for comfort, like when she numbed her pain over the death of her father, singer Eddie Fisher, with a carton of Häagen-Dazs ice cream.
Fisher's also no stranger to the stay-skinny pressures of Hollywood. Take Stars Wars, for instance: As Jabba the Hutt’s sexy slave, her ultra-thin Princess Leia sported a golden metal bikini. “But, when I was shooting those films, I never realized I was signing an invisible contract to stay looking the exact same way for the rest of my existence," she says. Unable to escape this frozen image, Fisher often found herself sad and frustrated.
Fast-forward to today and Fisher has no desire to parade around in a bathing suit. Her real goal: to shed 30 pounds from her 5’1” frame (she was 180 pounds at her heaviest and has since lost 15) and feel healthy. Read on for more of our Q&A:
In the past, you've admitted you had an issue with alcohol. New research suggests that people who struggle with drinking are up to 40 percent more likely to be obese, suggesting a link between alcoholism, drug addiction and food addiction. Do you consider yourself a food addict?
Yeah, I definitely eat emotionally. I eat to make myself feel better, to comfort myself. Now that I’ve confronted my addictions, my smoking, [food] was the last frontier. It was the last thing I could abuse.
What kind of diets have you tried before and why do you feel they didn’t they work?
I’ve tried liquid diets. They are impossible. I always ended up feeling denied. I’ve gone to fat farms. Everything. [With Jenny Craig], I don’t have to make any decisions or cook anything or trust myself. On a lot of diets, you can’t eat anything; you’re starving yourself. I’ve been following this plan since before Christmas and I’ve lost 15 pounds. I have a Jenny Craig consultant, who helps me. I call her if I’m having trouble. She helps me get on the scale, which I still don’t like to do, so she’ll look instead.
In the past, you’ve said you feel like you’ve been missing out on certain aspects in life due to your weight. Can you give us some examples?
In the last 10 years, I haven’t wanted to go outside, certainly not get in a bathing suit. Or look in the mirror, or stand on a scale, or really do anything.
Are you looking at Jenny Craig as a diet or a new way of life?
I can’t do diets anymore. I need a new way of living and eating. The word “die” is in the word “diet.” They’re temporary; you always go off them and eat twice as much. Jenny Craig is different because it teaches you to eat smaller portions and be consistent.
What do you think about Carrie Fisher joining Jenny Craig? Does it inspire you? Chime in below!