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