My bulimia battle, by The Office's Lucy: I'd starve myself for 5 days then eat a week's worth of food, says TV star
23:35 GMT, 9 October 2012
The Office star Lucy Davis has revealed she is undergoing therapy for bulimia.
The 39-year-old has struggled with food issues for her entire adult life – suffering wild fluctuations in weight over the last 15 years.
Now, in an extraordinary open letter, the actress has laid bare her battle with the eating disorder. She revealed she would starve herself for ‘five or six days’ before bingeing heavily ‘eating a week’s worth of food’ in one sitting.
Fluctuating weight: Actress Lucy Davis during one of her slimmest periods in 2005
At its worst, her aggressive purging caused the blood vessels in her eyes to burst.
Miss Davis, the daughter of comedian Jasper Carrott, said she was now ‘in recovery’ but had to attend five meetings a week at Overeaters Anonymous to help her manage the problem.
She also confessed she no longer weighs herself, and instead just asks the doctor if her weight is healthy.
In a letter published in a newspaper, she said: ‘All my life I’ve had an obsession with food and weight. I am fortunate to have had a lovely, healthy childhood – but somewhere along the way I believed I wouldn’t be wanted anywhere or by anyone if I wasn’t thin.
Davis has admitted to turning to Overeaters Anonymous to help her beat the disorder
In an open letter to The Sun, Lucy Davis has admitted to suffering from the bulimia eating disorder for years
‘I cannot tell you why I thought it. My parents never made me feel this way – we were given a mixture of very healthy food and treats.’
She added that while she had strange eating habits and often binged and dieted as a teenager, her weight noticeably fluctuated after she had a kidney transplant in 1997 and was placed on steroids.
‘The craving to eat was insatiable,’ she said. ‘But I can’t blame my weight gain on the steroids – I ate for England. Once the steroids stopped, I was faced with getting the weight off and tried every diet under the sun.
‘Some worked and the weight would drop. But then it returned . . . eventually, I began to “diet” by starving myself for several days and then binge for a day afterwards.
‘I could go five or six days with no food, or just an apple. On the seventh, I would eat a week’s worth in one sitting.’
Miss Davis confessed that initially she felt a ‘huge high’ by losing weight with her starvation and bingeing cycle, but things deteriorated in early 2011.
Lucy Davis (seen here with father Jasper on her left) married fellow actor Owain Yeoman at St Paul's Cathedral in 2006. The couple split last year
She said: ‘The idea of bringing it back up came into my head. I’d never done it before, but all I could think of was getting this food out of me.
‘I was unprepared for the high that came with it. I knew it would be hard not to do again. It seemed to give me so much – the feeling I was finally in control and safe. It was a powerful addiction. And I told no one.
‘A few months later, I woke with burst blood vessels in my eyes after purging the day before. I couldn’t believe food had me in its grip like this.’
She says her brother’s kindness on discovering her secret helped her realise she needed help. Miss Davis then contacted Overeaters Anonymous and the 12-Step Programme, which claims to help those with addiction.
She told The Sun: ‘I went to an OA meeting and got a sponsor, someone who has had an eating disorder and helps with the 12 steps.
‘I went to five meetings a week – and still do. I admitted to myself and others I was anorexic and bulimic. I stopped foolishly believing I was in control of my life and arrogantly thinking I was unique. I started to feel less ashamed and guilty. It is a relief not to have to hide any more.’
Miss Davis split from her husband Owain Yeoman in October 2011 after five years of marriage. The couple were able to marry in St Paul’s Cathedral as Jasper Carrott was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours in 2002.