Jameela Jamil reveals how taking laxatives amid anorexia battle ‘destroyed’ her body

Jameela Jamil reveals how taking laxatives amid anorexia battle ‘destroyed’ her body

Jameela Jamil has spoken out about her anorexia and how she “destroyed” her body by taking laxatives.

The 38-year-old actor candidly opened up about her struggles with her eating disorder and body dysmorphia during a recent appearance on Kelly Ripa’s podcast, Let’s Talk Off Camera. While reflecting on her former eating habits, Jamil confessed that she also used to take “so many laxatives” and turned to any diet that she could find to lose weight.

“I’m amazed I even still have an a**hole, to be perfectly honest,” she quipped about the laxatives. “It’s a real trooper. It’s a survivor. I took any pill or drink or diet that Oprah recommended. I did it. I took it. You know, any very low-calorie supermodel diet.”

The Good Place star confessed that these medications not only hurt her physical health at the time, but they’ve also still impacted her body now.

“I f***ed up my kidney, my liver, my digestive system, my heart,” she added. “And most recently, I found out that I have destroyed my bone density.”

Jamil acknowledged that although she “loves blaming other people” for her eating disorder, she knows that she cannot do that. She noted that while she could also “blame society” for how she treated herself during her anorexia, she still takes accountability. She also hit back at the societal standards that have been placed on women, while addressing why she needs to be open about her own past.

“And I’m so sorry to my body that I have jeopardized my future so severely for a beauty standard and to try to fit in with other people,” she continued. “And that’s why I’m so annoying, publicly, about eating disorders and diets. Because there’s so much talk about the dangers of being in a bigger body and there’s no talk almost about the dangers of not eating enough, only eating too much.”

She went on to emphasize that it’s “really dangerous” when people aren’t vocal about their health, specifically when they’re not eating enough.

“We have no idea the way that people’s fertility is f***ed, the way their long-term health is f***ed,” Jamil added, referring to how an eating disorder can affect one’s physical health. “We just don’t talk about it and it’s an inconvenient truth that the diet industry kind of squashes.”

The actor then shared the message that she wants to put out about eating disorders, concluding: “So I want to be someone who reminds people to eat. Don’t eat for your waistline now, eat for your longevity later.”

This isn’t the first time that Jamil has spoken openly about her body dysmorphia. In 2019, she took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to recall how her feelings about her appearance made her want to skip out on a star-studded event.

“This was a sad day 10 years ago,” she wrote, alongside a photograph of herself at a party hosted by Burberry in 2009. “I didn’t want to go to the event because I was convinced that I was ‘too fat’ and that I would be publicly fat-shamed the next day.”

“I only managed to stay for 10 mins,” Jamil continued. “Eating disorders/dysmorphia are so wild. I missed my teens/20s.”

For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this article, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. Visit eating-disorders.org.uk or call 0845 838 2040