It’s Saturday afternoon, I had a show last night at Hooters in Las Vegas and I’m just relaxing and hanging out with the dogs. I’m reflecting on the gig last night. I need everyone to know how I take all of your smiling faces with me after the gig is over. I love making people laugh; it’s the best job.
I did a podcast a few days ago and it will probably be released this weekend. I have mixed thoughts about it, there is part of me that is really proud of it because I open up about something I am passionate about. There is another part of me that worries about being so vulnerable and transparent.
This upcoming podcast is about eating disorders, more specifically “my eating disorder.” It is something I have lived with since I was little. I believe that my eating disorder started when I was around 8 years old. Both of my parents were in the entertainment field and they started me in acting and in commercials very young. I’m not going to say that I had a “stage mom” although my father would say I did. I am going to say that I loved being on stage; I loved the attention, the applause and I loved (and still do) creative people.
As I matured from the little 5- or 6-year-old little girl to the pre-teen 8 or 9 year old, my body changed and my family noticed. They started saying things to me like “You don’t need another piece of bread” or “Why don’t you go for a bike ride, instead of watching TV and having a snack?” I don’t know if that caused my eating disorder but all of a sudden I was at a war with food and with my body that has lasted my entire life.
I was always hungry. My mother used to joke and say that I was like that kitten in the movie The Aristocats who was always saying “Momma, I’m hungry.” Maybe I wasn’t hungry for food at all. Maybe I was hungry for attention, love, compassion etc…when that wasn’t available I turned to my new friend “food” who was always available. I started sneaking food because I couldn’t bear the intense shame I felt when I would ask for more food.
My mother; whom I believe in a weird way was trying to help me started to give me an appetite suppressant at age 8. They were chocolate candies and they were called “AYDS”(pronounced AIDS). What a horrible name. I think they did work, kinda but not a good road to go down.
When I look at pictures of myself now, I think I was a normal girl with a normal relationship with food and I think my body was going through normal changes. But I was living in a microcosm of dysfunction.
I don’t want to spend too much time on my childhood (you will have to wait for the book). What I do want to spend time on is how living with this ED (eating disorder) has affected me and how I am FINALLY getting the help I need.
I talk about all of this on the podcast and I hope you will all go to ITunes or Sticher or wherever you listen and subscribe to Andreatown and comment, too.
The help I am getting involves loving myself, accepting myself and staying away from dieting and it is hard work. But I KNOW that this is the answer. I will recover from this thing and I will no longer be ruled by ED! If you or someone you love is suffering please know you are not alone and together we can get better.