Girls star Zosia Mamet has revealed that she’s been struggling with an eating disorder since childhood.
The actress daughter of Pulitzer-winning playwright David Mamet comes clean about her lifelong battle with weight issues in a column penned for the current issue of Glamour magazine.
“Do you have a secret?” writes the 26-year-old Mamet. “Is your secret something that could kill you, a silent gnawing feeling that’s slowly melting you away, little by little, something deadly that nobody else can see? Mine is. And it is this: I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since I was a child.”
Following the big reveal, Mamet then provides details: “This struggle has been mostly a private one, a war nobody knew was raging inside me. I tried to fight it alone for a long time. And I nearly died.”
In her compelling column, Mamet, who plays the bubbly Shoshanna on Girls, provides details on how and when her eating disorder started.
“I was told I was fat for the first time when I was 8,” she writes. “I’m not fat; I’ve never been fat. But ever since then, there has been a monster in my brain that tells me I am – that convinces me my clothes don’t fit or that I’ve eating too much.”
Mamet refrains from specifically using the words “anorexia” or “bulimia” in the 1,100-word column, but instead focuses on her former obsession with body image.
“At times it has forced me to starve myself, to run extra miles, to abuse my body,” she writes. “As a teenager I used to stand in front of the refrigerator late at night staring into that white fluorescent light, debilitated by the war raging inside me: Whether to give in to the pitted hunger in my stomach or close the door and go back to bed.”
Mamet, who has also appeared on the TV programs Mad Men and Parenthood, says that her body obsession reached the point where her father had to step in.
“My dad eventually got me into treatment,” she says. “He came home one night from a party, took me by the shoulders and said, ‘You’re not allowed to die.’ It was the first time I realized this wasn’t all about me. I didn’t care if I died, but my family did.”
And thanks to the intervention of medical professionals, Mamet learned to accept herself.
“During treatment I discovered that my disorder has never really been about weight or food – that’s just the way the monster manifests itself. Really these diseases are about control: control of your life and your body.”
And the good news, writes Mamet, is that taking control of your own life and body reaps life-changing benefits.
“Today I’m at a healthy weight,” she says, “though I realize that my obsession will always be with me in some way.”
And showing that she has inherited some of her famous father’s skills of impactful writing, Mamet closes by saying, “For years the voice inside me has gotten louder or quieter at times. It may never disappear completely, but hopefully one day it’ll be so quiet, it’ll only be a whisper and I’ll wonder, Was that just the wind?”
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