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 Barbara Nivenand my body, but always tried to hide how I felt behind a smile. It was my secret shame.