Tracey Gold is best known for her starring role as overachieving middle child Carol Seaver on Growing Pains, the ABC sitcom which ran from 1985 to 1992, as well as her highly publicized battle with anorexia nervosa that the actress fought as a teenage TV star.
In this ETonline exclusive preview of Saturday's Oprah: Where Are They Now?, Gold opens up about her eating disorder, which she continues to manage to this day, and how it affected her years on the hit show.
“The last scene of Growing Pains was us in an empty living room at the Seavers’ house and we’re all eating pizza,” the actress, now 46, recalls. “Which lends itself to be very difficult again, because I couldn’t eat pizza.”
Gold, who left the show for a time to seek medical treatment for her disorder, returned for the last few episodes of the series run.
“So, I fake eat, very badly,” the actress says of her final scenes. “I had forgotten how to hold a piece of pizza. It was ridiculous.”
Nowadays, Gold says her health is “great.” She continues to manage her eating disorder with the help of her husband, Roby Marshall, who was by her side through the worst of her anorexia and helps her recognize warning signs and triggers.
“Any time there’s something he sees, he’s like ‘Uh-uh, that’s weird. Don’t do that,’” Gold revealed. “We’re not going down that crazy train again.”
The actress says that she has developed a healthier relationship with food and exercise, taking up running and cooking for her husband and their four kids.
“I eat what I cook, which is nice. That was always important to me, to eat what I cook for the family,” she added. “I don’t weigh myself, that’s another key, and I’ve done a good job.”
Oprah: Where Are They Now? airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.