Huffpost OWN

Mom Who Once Weighed 78 Pounds Gives Update On Her Life Today (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:

In 2006, Leigh Key was a 38-year-old mother of two boys. Like many moms, she worked hard to care for her family, but there was something very troubling about Leigh.

Leigh was anorexic and, at 5'6", she weighed just 82 pounds.

She shared her struggle with anorexia on The Oprah Winfrey Show eight years ago, admitting that she had even dropped to 78 pounds at her lowest. "Honestly, maybe my arms are too skinny, but I never will ever say my stomach is too thin," Leigh said back then.

When she spoke with Oprah, Leigh initially dismissed the effect her anorexia was having on her children. "I want to pray and say it's not [affecting them]," she said. "I really want that."

"But that would be crazy to even think that it's not affecting your children," Oprah told her.

To show Leigh that her children understood much more than she wanted to admit, Oprah played a tape of 9-year-old Benton talking about his mother and called it one of the saddest things she'd ever heard.

"I wish my mom could play longer with me. Because of her energy loss, she sometimes just doesn't feel like doing anything," Benton said in the piece. "I feel kind of sad because my dad usually gets onto her because she doesn't eat enough... Sometimes I would like to prepare supper for her so that she can eat a little more."

Not only that, but Benton also picked up on the tension between his parents due to Leigh's dangerously low weight. "When my mom and dad are in the arguments and I'm still awake, I get pretty scared when my dad yells," he said. "My mom usually just says, 'This is the way I want it.'"

After watching the video, Leigh was upset and finally acknowledged the damage that she was doing to her family. But would it be enough to help her overcome her eating disorder?

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" followed up with Leigh to see how she and her family have been doing since the show. Now 46, Leigh weighs a healthier 122 pounds -- but says that the road to recovery wasn't easy.

"My friends, my family wanted Oprah to maybe shock me into changing my ways, but it wasn't that easy. I guess it just took a little longer than they had thought," she says.

What kept her on track, Leigh says, were her children. "Benton's video just broke me. It made me think how horrible a mother I was that I was not taking care of him," she says. "That hit me harder than anything that was said on the show. It was very tough."

She also realized the key to being able to make the necessary changes. "I had to learn to love myself," Leigh says. "It's just a matter of saying, 'I deserve to be happy.'"

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

Like Us On Facebook |
Follow Us On Twitter

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Spotting The Signs Of An Eating Disorder
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

When Mom is Anorexic - Eating Disorder Recovery

The Secret Language of Eating Disorders - The New York Times

Understanding Adult Anorexia - Woman's Day

My mother, the anorexic | Society | The Guardian

Filed by Lisa Capretto
 

Stay Connected

FOLLOW US
  • Download The Huffington Post
  • Get Huffington Post for Android
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Get Huffington Post for Blackberry
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
    HuffPost OWN
    Thousands of Followers & Thousands of Listed
  • Apple
    Download The Huffington Post
  • Android
    Get Huffington Post for Android
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Blackberry
    Get Huffington Post for Blackberry
    Enter your mobile number to get the link!
    Message and data rates may apply. By clicking 'Send,' you represent that you are the account holder for the number you provided (or have the account holder's permission to receive a text message) and agree that the AOL Terms and Privacy Policy apply.
  • Email
  • Rss
Rob Bell's Course
Subscribe to Oprah on Facebook
Oprah's Book Club Get the latest news on Oprah's new book club. Sign up today >