Why Amanda Bynes’ 100-lbs. goal weight is deeply concerning

Amanda Bynes Weight Loss

When the folks at Us Weekly invited Amanda Bynes to reveal “25 things you didn’t know about me,” they must have known they were hitting a jackpot. The former child-star/retired actress, who has behaved very erratically during the past year, confessed a number of strange facts about herself. The most disturbing admission came when she claimed, “I lost 4 lbs. since I moved (to New York City). I’m 121 lbs — my goal is 100 lbs.”

This is disturbing for a number of reasons. First, there may still be a few fans who believe that Bynes is a good role model. By saying in such a blasé way that she wants to whittle herself down to 100 lbs., Bynes is setting a horrible example for impressionable devotees.

Even if Bynes has alienated the most loyal of supporters (which isn’t a far reach), this goal gives reason to be concerned for her own health — physically, mentally and emotionally. At 5-feet-8-inches, 100 lbs. would give Bynes a Body Mass Index of 15, which is classified as severely underweight. In order to drop to that weight, Bynes would almost certainly have to take extreme measures, possibly including excessive exercise and/or self-starvation.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), this kind of behavior puts a person at great risk of medical complications:
  • Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure, which mean that the heart muscle is changing. 
  • The risk for heart failure rises as heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower.
  • Reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), which results in dry, brittle bones.
  • Muscle loss and weakness.
  • Severe dehydration, which can result in kidney failure.
  • Fainting, fatigue and overall weakness.
  • Dry hair and skin, hair loss is common.
  • Growth of a downy layer of hair, in an effort to keep the body warm.

Bynes’ quote was particularly haunting to me. I dealt with anorexia during college. At approximately the same height as Bynes, I weighed 100 lbs. at my very sickest — and it was a living hell. 

I know firsthand that the cautions from NEDA are no joke. When I was the weight Bynes is aiming for, I had to bring a thick vest to all of my classes to use as a cushion. (Otherwise, without any natural padding in my butt, I would pinch a nerve and lose feeling in my lower legs.) I was constantly cold. My parents considered taking me out of school as my doctor warned that my heart was at risk. 


^At the height of my eating disorder in 2010.

On top of it all, I spent every waking moment thinking about food or exercise. Planning my meals for the next day even kept me awake at night… Well, that and the fact my hip bones painfully protruded into the mattress.

Being severely underweight is not fun and it’s certainly not something to aspire to.

The physical woes are difficult enough. But, the truth is that eating disorders generally have little to do with food. In my case, I was depressed. Food (or lack thereof) was something I could control, so I clung to it. In spite of the fact that I was putting my life at risk, I didn’t really turn to corner with recovery until I agreed to talk with a therapist to address the underlying issues.


^ Now, happy with life at a healthy weight.

 If Bynes is so willing to express her desire to be underweight, I have to question her emotional health. I’ve been a fan of Bynes’ ever since All That. I would hate to see her go down the painful road that is an eating disorder. I truly hope that rather than pursue her 100-lbs. goal, she focuses on herself. Meet with a therapist. Talk with friends. Enjoy activities that have nothing to do with food or exercise.

Follow Emily on Twittr: @pursuit2health

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  • lillypad

    Byne’s is just plain dumb. Talking about weight goals to the public is just stupid. on the other hand, Emily, you look much more beautiful now. I understand that sometimes we all want to have a perfect body but your face and body look so much better! i cant believe the change in your face. I look super pretty now :)

  • http://twitter.com/coffylover Caty C.P. :)

    @ Emily, you are very brave & kind to share your story! You look amazing now, and I’m glad that you’re healthy & happy!! :):)

  • amblen

    thank you so much for sharing your story. it’s very encouraging to read, esp. to me. you have a sefless heart to be able to share something so personal, i really admire that. this post ended up having so much more depth than i was expected and i am so grateful i clicked on it to read further. God bless you :)

  • Sweet Venom

    Emily, you look so much more healthy and beautiful in the second photo. I don’t understand why some girls believe that being stick skinny is pretty.

    What’s wrong with this Amanda Bynes person anyway? She was so wholesome and kind of funny back in the day. Maybe retiring at such a young age gave her nothing to do but go crazy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stayoutofmylifekthanks Britni Shea

    How tall is Amamnda?? I am 5’2″ and got down to 89 lbs during a tough time in my life. I can admit that was unhealthy but for me 100lbs is not risky and I look healthy. Granted, I am still 10 lbs away from there but that is my goal as well. If Amanda is much taller than me then I guess 100 could be problem…

    • Lili

      The article says she is 5’8″

    • Allison

      ^ It says that she is 5’8″.

    • PaigeMyrissa

      It also has to do with body type. Im 5’10 with an hourglass figure and weigh 170, I eat very healthy and work out daily and for me thats a very healthy weight. I have a friend who is the same height as me but weighs 30 lbs less but thats just the way she’s built.

  • LaDy

    You look very pretty and healthy now.

  • Ashley

    I really commend you with coming out and telling your story.

  • CJ

    I am aspiring to become a dietitian because of my past battles with an ED. My most recent one I am just starting to recover from, in part due to depression. I’m 5’4″ and went from 125 to 105 in 3 months, and finally plateaued at 100. That weight even at my height made me look like a walking skeleton.

    I worry for Amanda Bynes. I really liked her. I have a feeling she fell in with the wrong crowd and her family doesn’t sound much better. It’s very hard to get out of that hole without a strong support system. I hope she gets the help she needs. Or she and LiLo will end up like Marilyn Monroe or Amy Winehouse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Goldie-Treasure/100001545308532 Goldie Treasure

    I don’t know why you took this so seriously, all Amanda is doing is looking for attention and you gave her exactly what she wanted. When she had a career she never acted psycho like she has been acting now, it is all for attention and nothing more.

  • Nathan

    In terms of what I would look for in a role model, Bynes’ weight issues are the least of my concerns. I’d be more concerned about her drug use, bizarre behavior, and reckless driving.

  • spottedgiraffe

    Amanda is only saying that for attention she doesn’t mean it. Stars use eating disorders like fashion acessories. Remember when Mary Kate was truly bulimic and not wanting to be outdone nicole richie and Lindsay lohan stopped eating because they wanted the attention Mary Kate got? I don’t believe Amanda.

  • jane

    nobody asked to hear about you.. this blog is about celebrities, your personal story is not needed. blog writing 101- STICK TO THE TOPIC.