In Laura Prepon’s new guide for moms, You & I, as Mothers, she got brutally honest about her less than picture-perfect upbringing.
She tells People: “In order to have a real conversation about motherhood, we need to talk about what’s really going on, the stresses, the anxieties, how we were mothered. We need to share the truth.”
When she was preparing to welcome her daughter Ella in 2017, she says she didn’t find a “voice to connect to.” But being totally honest, meant revealing that her mother essentially taught her how to be bulimic.
The 40-year-old says: “It started when I was 15 and lasted until my late twenties. I always thought of myself as this strong, confident woman, but it became a compulsion that would completely debilitate me.”
When she was 15, she says she was a “healthy, athletic kid.” But when the 5’10” teen attended a casting call at a modeling agency, she was told to drop 25 pounds.
“My mom started weighing me every morning and taking my measurements,” says Prepon, who dropped to 105 lbs. and remembers feeling how “proud” her mom was of her.
“That’s when she told me, ‘You can have your cake and eat it too,’ ” recalls Prepon. “I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was a bonding thing we would do together,” she explains. “A shared secret.”
Prepon adds: “She was bulimic in college, and after she lost weight, she met my father. So to her, being thin equaled success.”
Seven years ago, her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which Prepon says was “shattering,” but it “put me in confrontation with our past and began the path to recovery.”
Prepon hopes that sharing her story will encourage other mothers to be truthful about their struggles. She and husband Ben Foster share Ella and a baby boy, whom they welcomed in February.