I’m Lynn Chen. I’m an actress. I love food.
I used to hate talking about my history with food because it’s been such a roller coaster. I was a binge eater my entire life and spent over six years balancing it out with anorexia.
In 2003 I had literally worked my butt off to play a ballet dancer. When I stopped the dieting, I naturally gained the weight back. But my managers weren’t happy. My fans called me chubby. My relatives commented. And since I wasn’t booking, I figured it must be because of the weight. I looked for examples of women who were about my size but I wasn’t even sure what I saw anymore; the bingeing and anorexia were taking over every aspect of my life.
In an attempt to get my life under control in a healthful way, I tried to do what I thought other actors did. I went on the zone, did cleanses, ate macrobiotic, got hypnosis, hired a personal trainer, had private pilates sessions, ate specially delivered/overpriced meals, went vegetarian, all while seeing an eating disorders specialist. I would scour magazine interviews with actors, stopping when they described anything having to do with food. “She ate a hamburger and fries,” I would read, and think, “And then what? How much of it did she eat? Did she have anything else the rest of the day? What about the next day?” I couldn’t figure out how other actors did it, why it was so difficult for me to stay as small as everyone else around me without obsessing over every calorie.
I took a year off from show business to come to terms with my disordered eating. Through lots of therapy, self-love, and soul-searching (plus ditching fad diets/weighing myself/focusing on size) I have gone years without relapsing into old behaviors, and am a current Ambassador for The National Eating Disorders Association. Marie Claire Magazine profiled me in their “New Generation of Social Activists” article. I’ve also worked with The National Organization of Women about body image – to read more about my recovery, check out my guest post at BlogHer and the speech I gave at the 2011 NEDA Conference.
Now that I’m a food blogger, I have many opportunities to eat a lot of amazing food for free. Each post is a chance to expand my relationship with food, and figure out the daily balance that comes with each meal. I’m hoping this food blog will present an honest look into this actor’s diet, burgers and fries and all.