Tia Mowry Reveals She Was On Diet Pills During Sister, Sister: “I’m Not Proud Of It”
Actress, mother and Cooking Channel host Tia Mowry just released a book on Tuesday called Whole New You: How Real Food Transforms Your Life, for a Healthier, More Gorgeous You. In it, the 38-year-old star talked about picking up unhealthy eating habits when she was young and starring on Sister, Sister with Tamera.
“TV sets are always catered, so I was surrounded by junk food 24/7. To my teenage self, it was like living in a Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory,” Mowry wrote in an excerpt shared with PEOPLE. “Everything I wanted was at my fingertips: Twizzlers, M&M’s, Starbursts, potato chips, you name it. And if something I craved wasn’t there, all I had to do was ask: ‘Chocolate chip cookies, please?’ And they simply appeared. It was heaven. If heaven leads to health problems, that is.”
Feeling the pressure to stay slim while being featured front and center on the hit show, Mowry admitted in the book that she made the bad decision to take diet pills to keep her weight down. She was still a teen at the time she developed such habits.
“I didn’t feel fat, but the pressure of being on television and wanting to look sexy and beautiful took over,” she wrote. “I’m not proud of it. I got skinny, true, but the pills caused my heart to race, and I knew in my gut that I was hurting myself.”
She kept taking them, utilizing diet pills throughout college. It wasn’t until her secret came out in a psych class at Pepperdine University that she decided to get off of them. Her teacher encouraged her to write “Give up diet pills” on a piece of paper, and when she had the chance, burn it.
“As I watched the paper crackle and burn, something in me released,” she wrote. “I haven’t touched diet pills since that day, and thankfully, I haven’t wanted to.”
Unfortunately, though, soon after giving them up, Mowry found out she had endometriosis. In order to stifle the pain that she was feeling from the condition and decrease inflammation (she had two laparoscopic surgeries to deal with everything), Mowry finally had to learn how to clean up her diet the right way, including giving up dairy.
“It had never even occurred to me that something I had always eaten (so innocently) could be causing me such harm,” Mowry said in her book. “Now here was a well-respected doctor telling me that my problem — my big, you-may-never-get-pregnant problem — came down to my favorite foods: butter, cheese, and gelato. It was like a slap in the face.”
But as she pointed out, after six months of eating right, she was better able to deal with her endometriosis, she lost weight and “had more energy than I remember ever having.” Not to mention, a year later, Mowry got pregnant with son, Cree.
“The cherry on top of this dairy-free sundae is that I got pregnant. Quickly,” she wrote. “Given all of my health issues, I hadn’t expected it to happen so fast — if at all — but after I’d been following my new regimen for just twelve months, Cory came to visit me in Atalanta [sic], and a few weeks later, we got the happy news!”
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