“I’M OB­SESSED WITH FOOD”

In her new book, Ob­sessed, Mika Brzezin­ski shares the eat­ing-dis­or­der se­cret she’s hid­den from ev­ery­one—even her best friend—since she was a teenager.

Cosmopolitan (India) - - BODY LOVE - By Liz Plosser

COSMO: Your book be­gins with your call­ing out your friend Diane Smith on her weight. What was go­ing through your head?

Mika Brzezin­ski: “It was in 2011, and I called her obese! And I was dead se­ri­ous. I know it wasn’t easy for her to hear, but that con­ver­sa­tion was re­ally about both of us. I re­mem­ber her eyes widened with the re­al­i­sa­tion that I wasn’t some skinny girl com­plain­ing about my weight. What I was say­ing was: ‘I’m dy­ing here. I’m hun­gry all the time. All I think about is what I’m go­ing to eat next, when I can eat it, and what I’m go­ing to do about it af­ter’.”

C: And a book was born from that can­did con­ver­sa­tion?

MB: “Diane and I found a di­rect link be­tween very skinny women and mor­bidly obese women. We have the same urges. So we de­cided to deal with it to­gether by writ­ing about it.”

C: De­scribe your food is­sues.

MB: “I’m al­ways grab­bing my sides and squeez­ing and feel­ing like there’s an inch I need to get rid of. In the past, those mo­ments were fol­lowed by binge­ing and starv­ing my­self. I’d have lit­tle tricks, like run 15 kms and then have a whole pizza. Eat a whole pan of brown­ies then starve my­self for days. I’d al­ways look for a way to undo my gorg­ing. Now? I try to think about how I can eat a meal that is healthy and doesn’t make me feel sick men­tally, emo­tion­ally, and phys­i­cally.”

C: Af­ter years of bot­tling this up, how does it feel to be so open about your strug­gles?

MB: “I re­alise now that so much of my life has been con­sumed by some­thing that I thought I should be em­bar­rassed about. Read­ing my own story again— cou­pled with the science about the ad­dic­tive qual­i­ties of junk food and the con­ver­sa­tions I had with other women—I re­alise that eat­ing dis­or­ders af­fect women of all shapes and sizes. I think that’s im­por­tant to talk about be­cause so many women need help.”

C: Was it hard to write about?

MB: A cou­ple of times dur­ing the writ­ing process, I found my­self fall­ing back into my old ways. Writ­ing the book has made me con­front those urges again and again...and fall back a few times. Some­times I won­der what I could be if 75 per­cent of my life wasn’t ob­sessed with food. I have an in­cred­i­ble life! I could’ve en­joyed it more. This book has made me look at my­self from dif­fer­ent an­gles.”

When your

crav­ings be­come a

curse...

“The cy­cle of overeat­ing, starv­ing, run­ning, and overeat­ing again was ex­haust­ing... Even­tu­ally, I’d break down and go back to eat­ing en­tire piz­zas.”

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