Alec Baldwin's Wife Hilaria Reveals Eating Disorder Battle In New Book

By McCarton Ackerman 12/30/16

In her new book, Hilaria Baldwin addresses the evolution of her eating disorder and the steps she's taken to heal herself.

Alec and Hilaria Baldwi

Hilaria Baldwin is getting candid about her own recovery. The wife of actor Alec Baldwin revealed in a new book that she struggled for years with both anorexia and bulimia before getting a grip on her battle with food.

In her new health and wellness book, The Living Clearly Method, released Tuesday, the 32-year-old Baldwin said her eating disorder began in her teen years and quickly took hold of her body. While studying dance at New York University, she felt immense pressure to conform to a specific physique.

“By the time I was 20 years old, my 5-foot-3 frame was at least 20 lbs under a healthy weight. My nails were brittle, my hair was falling out, my period was MIA, and my energy had tanked. I was miserable and desperate to feel better,” she said. “Without realizing it, I started drifting away from the playful connection to movement I’d enjoyed as a young child and into a different and darker kind of dynamic: pushing my body to its limits and commanding it to perform through pain or fatigue."

Baldwin eventually turned to yoga when her dancing days at NYU ended, but it didn’t do much to change her eating disorder. She admitted that “I still didn’t listen to my body. Extraordinarily long days became my reality. Skipping meals was par for the course.”

It wasn’t until a major injury in 2009 that she began to focus more on her body and taking better care of herself. A nasty fall led to Baldwin’s leg bone being severed from her hip. While recuperating from the injury, she took stock of the damage her eating disorder was having on her body and started taking steps to correct it.

“My year of recovery turned out to be a year of waking up, in which I healed my two-decade-long eating struggle and began to treat myself right. I started to find pleasure in engaging fully with the whole process of eating, instead of checking out or avoiding it,” Baldwin recalled. “The imbalances that had been there for much of my life returned to balance, and I looked and felt a hundred times better as a result.”

Hilaria isn’t the only Baldwin family member to be involved in some form of recovery. Alec has been working a program for alcoholism since 1983. In the book Moments of Clarity, the actor recalled realizing that he needed help after driving down the Santa Monica Freeway with a plastic cup of wine.

“I went, ‘I don’t see any body else in their car with a plastic take out container filled with ice and wine. They’re drinking coffee, they’re drinking Diet Coke. They’re not drinking wine,'" he recalled. Barring an occasional relapse, he has remained sober since.

Twenty-one-year-old Ireland, the daughter of Alec and ex-wife Kim Basinger, was admitted to an inpatient treatment center in April 2015 after a reported stint of non-stop partying. Although she initially tried to downplay it on social media, Ireland later said that she was “here to deal with ... some emotional trauma and getting the intensive therapy I needed in order to recover … [I hope to] overcome everything that I had been through and rid myself of all the pain I locked away in unreachable places."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.