Marie Osmond’s variety show with brother Donny was one of the hottest TV shows of the 1970s. Despite the show’s success and her stardom at a young age, her memories of “Donny & Marie” involve the immense pressure she felt to stay thin, often starving herself for days before a taping.
“From the time I started ‘Donny & Marie,’ age 15, I did starvation,” said Osmond, 60. “I would literally starve myself for three days before taping, drinking lemon water and cayenne pepper with maple syrup so I can be skinny.”
Despite all that starvation, it wasn’t enough. “One day, I was taken out into a parking lot and one of the studio people told me that if I didn’t drop 10 pounds, they were going to cancel the show. They said I was an embarrassment to my family and I needed to keep the food out of my fat face,” she admitted.
“I was 103 pounds — I’d kill to be 103 pounds. So I got down to 93 pounds,” she continued. “I never realized the mental abuse behind that. I went through other kinds, too. But those leave scars and traumas. I swear to you, every diet on the planet I tried.”
With her weight fluctuating throughout her life, Osmond recalled the time one of her sons gave her a shocking wakeup call when she was at her heaviest.
“I remember my son took me aside on behalf of the kids and told me, ‘Mom, you’re all we have. We can’t lose you. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you’ve got to lose weight,’” she said. “That was the killer punch in the gut.”
As a result, Osmond — who was about to compete on “Dancing With the Stars” — decided to take action. “I was doing ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and I thought 50 extra pounds in spandex is not a beautiful combination. I was ready. It took me about four months to lose 50 pounds,” she said.
“People assume I lost it on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ but that’s not true,” she added. “I started my journey before I did that show. And while I was doing ‘Dancing with the Stars’, Nutrisystem found me… And it was fantastic.”