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After the disastrous commercial fitting, Portia says she began dieting with more determination than she ever had before. She also began exercising any chance she could get—including on the set of Ally McBeal.
Watch Portia talk about her extreme exercise.
At the height of Ally McBeal's popularity, the show's female stars were the subject of "scary skinny" tabloid stories. However, Portia says there wasn't any pressure on the set to be thin. Since she "didn't know how to be a TV star," Portia says she looked around the set and saw that the other women were dieting, working out and hiring nutritionists. Portia followed suit...but with her own personal adjustments. She was only consuming 300 calories a day, and her weight dropped down to 82 pounds.
"It wasn't that I was proud of it, but it was certainly a recognition for my self-control,” says Portia. “I definitely had some amazing willpower to get down to 82 pounds, and that's what I was holding on to. I didn't think about anything else."