Debra Messing Suffered From Extreme Health Issues While Filming Will & Grace

Debra Messing is perhaps better known to fans as Grace Adler. The actor portrayed the character for 11 seasons of "Will & Grace," the uber-popular TV series which became Messing's breakthrough role. The show premiered in 1998, and Messing quickly rose to prominence in the entertainment industry. While the show initially ended in 2006, "Will & Grace" returned in 2017 for a revival before concluding in 2020. That year, Messing went on the "I Weigh" podcast, hosted by actor Jameela Jamil, where she disclosed that in the show's early days, she lost weight to fit into Grace's costumes.

This, unfortunately, came with negative physical consequences for Messing, who explained that she went from a size 8 to a size 2. Messing told Jamil (via I Weigh Community), "My body just could not hold out .. my adrenals crashed. I was exhausted. And it just became clear to me that you know, I couldn't be healthy and a size 2 at the same time." Messing noted that despite being too thin, others often praised her for how good she looked and how being in the public eye further led to a complicated relationship with her body.

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The actor got real about dealing with body image issues

Speaking to Jameela Jamil on "I Weigh," Debra Messing discussed specific events in her life that were impacted by body image issues that began on the set of "Will & Grace." Jamil noted that the body standard in the '90s was all about being thin. Messing agreed and said she decided to lose weight in the first place because she got tired of her costume designer having to order larger sizes for her. Moreover, she noted that her insecurities heightened while attending high-profile industry events.

"This was supposed to be the greatest moment of my life, being nominated for best actress in a TV show I loved," Messing explained. "For an Emmy and walking on the red carpet. And I walked out and I immediately felt so incredible. And then I was standing next to all of these other actresses who were half my size. And I felt fat. And I felt ugly."

She went on to say, "I looked back at those pictures and I was beautiful. And I feel I, I mourn the fact that that was my interpretation of reality." Messing also disclosed that the media berated her for her size shortly after giving birth to her son, Roman, and that despite her star status, she struggles to find designers who will dress her.

Debra Messing on how she stays healthy

Debra Messing admitted on "I Weigh" that she has been able to transform her body image struggles for the better: "I am bigger now than I've ever been in my life. I feel OK about being larger than I was when I was 25 because that is normal. I, I do still have, you know, flare-ups of triggering moments when I have to dress up for a special occasion." Now in her 50s, Messing has kept it honest about how she maintains her youthful glow and health in check. 

In an interview with Well+Good (via People), Messing said that her routine did not include working out but did note that eating healthy was her priority. She explained, "I start every day with a huge glass of green juice with kale, spinach, ginger, lemon, and celery. I found that it helps me with energy at work and my skin. I'm not a huge veggie eater, but I don't feel so guilty if I've had my green juice." In 2018, Messing told Insider that she refrains from eating certain foods such as sugar, gluten, dairy, and more.