Amelia Gray Hamlin recalls doctor telling her she'd be dead in 4 months if she didn't recover from eating disorder

·4 min read

Amelia Gray Hamlin, the model daughter of actors Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, remembers getting the scare of her life a few years ago. She was in the throes of an eating disorder, when her famous family, which also includes older sister Delilah Belle Hamlin, decided to intervene.

“I woke up one morning at my childhood best friend’s house. It was, like, seven in the morning. My parents, my sister, they’re all outside, waiting to pick me up,” Amelia, now 19, said on the latest episode of The Skinny Confidential Him and Her Podcast.

She hadn’t been expecting them — it wasn’t even a school day — but they had a plan for her. They took Amelia to UCLA to see a doctor, so she could begin treatment for an eating disorder.

While Amelia said her initial reaction was to dismiss the idea she even had a problem, a stern-looking doctor soon changed her mind.

“He looked at me... and he was, like, so, yeah, basically at this rate in about four months, you’re gonna be 45 pounds, and you’re gonna be dead,” she recounted.

Amelia said the doctor’s words shocked her into taking her family’s concern seriously.

“You don’t need to be skinny to, like, live your best life,” she quickly realized. “It’s either [be] skinny and die or, like, happy and be who you are.”

The teen said she had initially started restricting her calories after seeing a paparazzi photo of herself.

“I think I was like 14 or 15, walking out of, like, American Rag… with my mom,” she said. “I was kind of in my awkward stage in life and paparazzi was shooting us, and I didn’t really think anything of it. I’d had that happen since I was, you know, born, wasn’t a big thing.”

Amelia Gray Hamlin, middle, poses with older sister Delilah Belle Hamlin and mom Lisa Rinna at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 11. (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Christian Cowan )
Amelia Gray Hamlin, middle, poses with older sister Delilah Belle Hamlin and mom Lisa Rinna at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 11. (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Christian Cowan )

But this time, she happened to see the snapshot they had captured, and she didn’t like what she saw. She had seen that a model she looked up to at the time relied on the Master Cleanse before a big photo shoot, so Amelia decided to give it a try. She followed the diet, which consists mostly of a lemon and cayenne pepper drink, for 25 days, occasionally supplementing it with soups or popcorn shared with friends.

She would use the home gym for excessive workouts: both during the day and late at night after her parents had gone to bed.

“And then my mom comes in the gym one day and was, like, ‘What’s happening? Are you OK? Your sister thinks you’re anorexic,’” Amelia said.

Amelia insisted she was fine. But, eventually, everyone could see that wasn’t true.

Amelia said the process of gaining weight when she first began recovery was difficult, even after the doctor’s warning.

“I immediately gained 50 pounds in six months and, like, to be honest, I was still starving myself… the first three months,” she said.

She’s now been recovered for “two years, almost,” but she continues to struggle with side effects.

“I have suffered so many environmental issues in my body now, between my hormone imbalance, between my thyroid being inflamed constantly, between my Hashimoto’s [disease], between my depression and anxiety that I now have. Nobody needs to go through that. It is just a waste of time and a waste of two pills every morning.”

Another thing is discomfort with scales. She said she doesn’t let them weigh her at the doctor’s offices even and stays away from scales in general because, if she gets on one, her day is “f***ed.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

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