Ellen Interviewed By SELF Magazine

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In the March edition of SELF, which for some reason shows up at my apartment (and for some reason emits an odd fragrance when opened), Ellen Pompeo talks about how she stays happy and healthy.

Ellen Finds Inner Peace

Life hasn't always been easy for the 36-year old Grey's Anatomy star, but all that she's learned along the way has helped her grow. Raised in working-class Everett, Massachusetts, by her father and older siblings (she has five in all) after her mother passed away when Ellen was four, Pompeo appreciated everything she had. She credits her upbringing for her enthusiasm and inner peace.

"I'm the person I am and have the compassion I have because of it," she said. "I try to go out and be the best person I can be, and feel I have to try and live the life my mother never got a chance to live."

As for her physical health, you may have noticed her thinness. Well, don't assume it's a result of any disorder. Contrarily, the 5'7", 100-pound brunette requires 3,000 calories a day just to keep the pounds on. The only problem she has is her metabolism, which is simply too fast. During her 14-hour days on the Grey's set, Pompeo eats every two hours just to maintain her energy. A nutritionist keeps her in line during the week, but on weekends, Ellen says, she "eats whatever she wants."

While she fights exhaustion on a daily basis and is working harder than ever at 36, Pompeo considers herself blessed with the opportunity. Ten years ago she was tending bar in New York City, wondering how to go about becoming an actress. Many small and forgettable roles later, she gained recognition for roles in Moonlight Mile (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002) and Old School (2003). After an ABC pilot starring Pompeo as the head of the U.S. Secret Service never got off the ground, the network gave her a second chance -- as Meredith Grey.

It's been a roller coaster ride since. Yet despite the long workdays, media obligations and increasing fame, Pompeo finds time to work out.

"Yoga clams me down. It's the one time during the day I don't have to think about anything but being good to myself," said Pompeo, who also goes to the gym as regularly as she can. "Patrick [Dempsey] is the same as me, in that if we don't go to the gym, we feel weak."

A family history of cancer provides additional motivation for Pompeo's wellness. She's certainly keeping herself busy -- she recently bought, and is renovating, a 3,000-foot home in Los Angeles, where Grey's Anatomy is filmed. She lives with her boyfriend of two years (music producer Christopher Ivery), and her two dogs.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Ellen Pompeo suits Kate Walsh. they shoukd go out....

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.