with Eating Disorders
Actress Barbara Niven is beautiful, blond, and brave - brave enough to go public about her bulimia. "By sharing my experiences I hope that others who may still be hiding their problem may take their first steps toward recovery," says the star of the syndicated TV hit Pensacola: Wings of Gold. "Bulimia is a hidden disease. To fight it, first you have to recognize you have it. Then you need to start talking about." Like many women (and men too), I have been battling eating disorders and self image problems most of my life, starting at age 15. I did it all: anorexia, bulimia, binging, over-exercise. But no matter how much weight I lost I could never look "skinny". It's not my body type! So I always felt disgusting and like a failure. I hated myself and my body, but always tried to hide how I felt behind a smile. It was my secret shame.
Though they bared their bodies in Playboy, pinups Sia and Shane Barbi said models are not to blame for society's obsession with personal image; they, like many women, are victims of an over-emphasis on a waif-like physique. The sisters, known as the Barbi Twins, speak on campuses about their battle with bulimia and anorexia as part of Body Image Awareness Week.
Reality show star Bethenny Frankel recently admitted that she engaged in a vicious cycle of binging and purging from the age of eight well into her thirties.
"I spent my entire life being obsessed with dieting. Bingeing and then fasting or starving. Forbidding everything. That's how I used to be: up and down 5 pounds every single day, to the extremes. My metabolism was totally wrecked," Frankel told US Weekly.
Frankel said that becoming a mother helped her reevaluate her fixation on diet and exercise and led to her creation of SkinnyGirl, an eating plan that promotes a moderate approach to weight control.
As a teen, Hairspray star Brittany Snow would eat less than 500 calories per day, exercise as much as three hours per day and cut herself. At her lowest point, the 5’4” former star of “American Dreams” got down to 85 pounds before seeking treatment for an eating disorder, depression and self-mutilation in 2005. Today, Brittany says she focuses more on being healthy than thin.
Brtiney Spears Sufferred Bulimia for Many Years
There’s a good deal of comparison here of eating disorders with alcoholism and other drug addictions, and the contributors have a diversity of theories about the nature, cause, and cure of their conditions. Except for the obese comedy writer and actor Bruce Vilanch, who cheerfully denies that he has a problem, they have all experienced a sense of recovery, and all say that they are able now to eat in a healthy middle way, without starving or bingeing. They testify to a great diversity of recovery pathways, such as anti-anxiety medications, psychological counseling, nutrition therapy, dialectical and cognitive behavior therapies, will power, self-discipline, surgery, and a handful who used 12-step. The book sometimes tests the reader’s patience with the contributors’ narcissism – what do you expect from celebrities? – but it is, all the same, a useful and readable collection of anecdotal material about its topic. – Marty N. 11/8/2006