Julie Bowen Reflects on Living with Eating Disorder as a Teen: 'It Was a Coping Mechanism'

Julie Bowen is opening up about having an eating disorder when she was a teenager. The Modern Family alum, 52, was a guest on Thursday's airing of The

Tamron Hall Show and reflected on what she believes triggered the condition. "You know, it's funny because I have three sons, and they're all so different," she told the

Emmy-winning talk show host. "But I see one of them is very similar to me, and I see him always trying to color inside the lines and get the A+." Bowen shares son Oliver,

15, and twin sons John and Gustav, 13, with her ex-husband Scott Phillips. RELATED: Glennon Doyle Reveals Anorexia Diagnosis on Her Podcast: 'It Shook Me Deeply'

She continued, "And I think [as a teen] I interpreted being messy or making mistakes or having an ass or like fat coming out of the top of your jeans [as] a symbol that you

couldn't contain yourself. That you were too much, and that to be good meant staying inside the lines — literally and figuratively. Keeping it tight." "And that's my

attitude: tight," she explained. "And by the way, that is not fun. It's not a fun way to live." At the time, she said, she was "struggling" with the changes and hormones

that came along with puberty and "not liking that feeling of changing." Bowen added that, although her sons are "aren't afraid" of their changing bodies, her life was much

different when she was younger.