Zoe Hardman has spoken out about her eating disorder, saying it was like a 'devil sitting on her shoulder' at a time when she was trying to launch her career.
Hardman, who presents on weekends on Heart FM and is married to rugby player Paul Doran-Jones, said she didn't have a period for five years, couldn't hold down a job, and was 'plagued' by the issue even though she "covered it up quite well".
Speaking on White Wine Question Time, the presenter and co-founder of podcast Made By Mammas, had been asked by Kate Thornton about the biggest moments of her life, listing the early menopause at first and then talking about living with an eating disorder which she had been "covering up with over-exercising, food restricting and going to the gym twice a day".
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She said: "My body just wasn't functioning, I didn't have a period for five years, I couldn't hold down a relationship, I lost all my jobs.
"I was trying to launch myself in telly and I was just plagued by this horrible devil that was sitting on my shoulder, and I think I covered it up quite well for a really long time.
"So even though I'd got down to like six and a half stone, my body fat was 4 per cent, or something, it physically wouldn't have been that shocking to look [at].
"I was so lean, I was so muscley. But I look back at photos now and I just looked so unwell. I remember going to the doctor's and I remember saying to the doctor: 'I don't understand why I haven't had a period and I don't understand why my lower backs really hurting on this side?'"
She said she asked the doctor to break it down for her because she really didn't understand.
"And she said: 'You're going into potential kidney failure, you're not menstruating any longer. You will never have a family if you carry on doing this, there's no way you can conceive a child', all this stuff.
"And suddenly it was like: 'Oh my god, what have I done to myself?' And actually, I guess the eating disorder was one thing, but coming out the other side, being in recovery and going through the 12 steps.
"Actually having a look at why had I put all this energy and control over my eating and looking at the relationship that I had with my mum growing up and all of that sort of stuff, which actually, we don't necessarily do in our adult life unless we're sort of faced up to it.
"And I needed to do the work, those two years of therapy afterwards, were the best thing that I ever did."
If you or someone you know need help with any of the issues raised in this article you can contact the charity Beat for support. In England call 0808 801 0677 or visit the website.
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