AceShowbiz - Actress Jennette McCurdy has shared painful details about her battle with an eating disorder in an open letter.
The "iCarly" star's piece for the Huffington Post, in which she publicly reveal her struggles with food for the first time, was published on Friday, March 08, to mark National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Explaining she was first asked to write an article about her eating disorder while she was struggling with bulimia a few years ago, the actress explained she finally felt ready to speak out after seeking therapy and treatment.
"I've been in recovery maintenance for two years," she wrote. "I'm no longer actively engaging in disordered eating."
"After spending a lot of time in therapy working on myself and confronting what I've experienced, I finally feel like I have the perspective required to write about what I've been through and maybe, hopefully, it might help someone who is going through the same thing feel less alone."
Jennette went on to reveal her late mother, who was hospitalised for anorexia several times, had a hand in her disorder, because she obsessively restricted meals like steamed broccoli and cauliflower to count calories and stay thin.
"My disordered eating started when I was 11," Jennette recalled. "As a child actress working in Hollywood, I quickly learned that remaining physically small for my age meant I had a better chance of booking more roles. Unfortunately, I had a trusty and dedicated companion ready to help me with my burgeoning anorexia: my mom!"
McCurdy says her illness only worsened as she landed more and more roles: "I was constantly preoccupied with food," the former Nickelodeon star explained. "Nothing meant more to me than my next bite and nothing gave me more shame than my last one. I was in a toxic, self-loathing cycle."
Now 26, the grown-up child star is in a much more positive space and she is determined to stick to the self-help tools she has picked up in treatment to curb her desire to fall back into anorexic or bulimic habits.
"It's been two years and I'm doing well, recovering and moving forward," she said. "I still get eating disorder urges, compulsions and occasional fantasies. I still hear that old eating disorder voice, but luckily I hear it less and less often. And when I do hear it, I now have the tools to muffle it."