The 3 Week Diet

Tracey Gold: Starving Secrets, Reality TV Series on Eating Disorders

Starving Secrets with Tracey Gold is a forthcoming reality TV series premiering on the Lifetime cable channel which will deal with the reality of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulemia, and how they can be overcome through treatment.

Actress Tracey Gold is the creator, executive producer and host of the new program which will have its broadcast premiere on December 2, 2011 at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime. She rose to fame while still a teenager with her starring role as Carol Seaver on the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains, but she also became known for her public battle with anorexia which intensified when she was 19 years old and at the time her character on the show was at the brunt of fat jokes. She was among the first celebrities to make such a public acknowledgment, doing so in 1992 in a landmark cover story in People Magazine which you can see in its entirety at, along with the photos.

In an interview on ABC Good Morning America with Lara Spencer broadcast on November 28, 2011, (video below) she discussed the new series, calling it “a passion project of mine.” She said that she had become concerned about the shame and secrecy that people were feeling who battled eating disorders. She said, “I wanted to shine a light on it. I wanted to show people what it’s really like and de-glamorize it.” She went on to say, “Every time I help somebody else it strengthens me.

Regarding her own battle, she said, “I consider myself recovered. I feel strong and really secure in it.” She added, “It was such a struggle and it took a really long time. I really believe that I got sick and tired of being sick.”

Her weight eventually dropped to just 80 pounds in those days, and in the interview, she said she believed anorexia would have killed her. She said, “If it didn’t it would have robbed me of my life.” She spoke of how anorexia stood in the way of what she wanted to achieve in her life.

She also talked about her desire to educate people in their use of words — noting that fat is also an F word. You can watch the full replay video of the GMA interview is below.

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The official Web site at Lifetime, where you can find a variety of resources as well as full episode videos. For anyone who is suffering with an eating disorder, there is also a resource page, giving details on where and how to get immediate help. You may also want to visit this Facebook page which has information on casting — the program is looking for participants on season 1.

A preview video of the new program is below.

She was also interviewed recently by StarPulse, and discussed the series. You can read it in its entirety at

I am so glad that she is doing this series and seeking to intervene in the lives of women whose health and survival is at risk, and that she does so from the unique perspective of one who has faced and overcome her own struggles with an eating disorder. I do hope that it will, in her words “de-glamorize”‘ anorexia and bulemia and dispel myths. Just think of how quickly celebrities — most especially actresses and models — who are perceived as too thin or “scary skinny” are then “diagnosed” by tabloids, blogs and the public as having an eating disorder. Such invasive banter has really stripped away the reality behind those disorders, and the suffering people experience. Similarly, those who do try to glamorize it — with the pro-ana and pro-mia subculture and the search for images and pictures of thinspo and thinspiration — similarly do not acknowledge the reality of such suffering, and that it is antithetical to the pursuit of healthy weight loss and weight management.

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