'body conscious' | 

Joanne McNally was ‘mortified’ seeking help for her eating disorder

"I felt if I admitted that I had a problem, recovery to me just meant getting fat.”

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Comedian Joanne McNally has opened up about her experience with an eating disorder, admitting she was “embarrassed" to seek help in 2017.

The Dublin native got candid with Spencer Matthews on his Big Fish podcast and confessed she had struggled with bulimia for a long time.

"What happened was I always thought I was heavy. And I was kind of a chunkier kid when I was younger, and I was tall, which you can kind of perceive as being chunky, even though you're not,” she began.

"We’d play mummies and daddies, I was always the daddy. That's where it all started. So, I was very body conscious growing up, and I grew up doing all that heroin chic bulls**t, where you basically had to look like you'd fallen out the back of a crack house to be considered sexy or attractive.

"Everyone had an eating disorder, basically,” she said.

The ‘heroin chic' style gained popularity with fashion icons like Kate Moss in the 1990s.

It featured super-skinny models as the ‘ideal’ body type, something Joanne herself internalised.

"You're trying to emulate the people you see.

"It was all so unhealthy. I'd given anorexia a try, hadn't really worked out, and then I remember going like "I can just regurgitate it.

"It's like just one meal a week, then it's three meals a week, then it's suddenly it's every meal,' she admitted.

"When I spoke to my therapist I said to her "I have an addiction to bingeing" and she’s like "you’re not, you’re addicted to purging.’

"Purging was actually addictive, and then I just got to a point where I can’t have anything in me and then it’s just this constant.

The Dublin native revealed she was “mortified” and “embarrassed” when it came to seeking help.

"I felt if I admitted that I had a problem, recovery to me just meant getting fat.

"I wanted to find out a way to manage my bulimia without actually having to get rid of it because I did see it as like a handy tool to lose a few pounds.”

She told Spencer, who is the husband of her My Therapist Ghosted Me co-host Vogue Williams, that the eating disorder “will always” be with her.

"I think it'll always be with you. Now I'm in a really good place, and I'm no longer a bulimic. I'm actually the healthiest I've ever been.

"It's hard then going into show business, when you've suddenly got photo shoots and you're on telly, and my weight kind of fluctuates, so you have to kind of talk yourself out of freaking out if there's a photo shoot coming up.

Joanne McNally and boyfriend Alan Byrne.

"I would just control myself a bit like that. It's something I look out for. But no, I was basically bingeing and purging all day every day. Like I was very unwell. I couldn't function,” she concluded.

The popular Dublin comedian has been open about her past experiences with an eating disorder, while also giving fans and followers an insight into the happier parts of her life.

She recently became the godmother to pal Vogue Williams’ son Otto and is close to celebrating her first anniversary with boyfriend Alan Byrne.


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