Spring 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 2
Eating disorder survivor offers hope
Stacey Prussman’s struggle with food began at the age of 10, when she auditioned for the role of Annie on Broadway. Afterwards, an agent approached her and stated, “Kid, you have a great voice, but there are no fat Annies.” Prussman went on her first diet.
In Fall 2007, Prussman, an actress, comedienne, and eating disorder survivor, visited campus to give her lecture, “Looking through broken mirrors: A program about eating disorders, body image, and healing.” The program was sponsored by The Body Project, a collaboration among students, faculty, and staff to promote healthy body image on campus.
Dr. Jackie Hogan, assistant professor of sociology, coordinates The Body Project. She states that Prussman “described her eating disorder in quite graphic detail, but with a healthy dose of gallows humor. If anyone came in thinking that eating disorders were glamorous or easy, they left with a deeper understanding of how physically and emotionally devastating such illnesses are.”
Prussman, now 37, recalls the exercise fad that she eagerly followed when it appeared during her high school years. A typical day during her freshman year consisted of a trip to the gym, school, another trip to the gym, and a run home.
In college, Prussman’s obsession with exercise disappeared and was replaced by binge eating. She realized what had happened to her after her freshman year and went on diet pills for the rest of her college career, becoming malnourished and dehydrated. “There is a reason there’s the word ‘die’ in diet,” Prussman quips.
As she pursued a career in theatre after college, Prussman tried numerous fad diets and eventually became bulimic. She almost passed out while rehearsing lines with a friend one day before an audition. The friend had suspected something was wrong and insisted on taking Prussman to the hospital, where she met with a psychologist. Through talking, Prussman realized she was bulimic and began the long road to healing.
Prussman is now a personal trainer and completely free of her eating disorder. She travels around the country talking on college campuses about this serious issue facing America. Prussman also stars in The Stacey Prussman Show, where she explores issues such as pollution, animal rescue, and eating disorders.
Visit thestaceyprussmanshow.com for more information.
Read the CampusView article "BU tackles body image issues"
Helping students gain a positive, healthy body image is the focus of several campus resources that deal with everything from fitness and food choices to eating disorders. More >
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