Joanne McNally opens up about “grim” struggle with eating disorder

Trigger Warning: Eating disorders

Pic: Instagram/Joanne Mcnally

Joanne McNally has spoken candidly about her experience with an eating disorder in her youth.

She has admitted just how “grim” that time in her life was and confessed that she was even “embarrassed” by it.

Joanne struggled with an eating disorder for eight years in her 20s before she sought treatment.

Appearing on her best friend Vogue Williams’ husband Spencer Matthews’ podcast Big Fish, she spoke openly about that time in her life.


“I’d given anorexia a try, hadn’t really worked out, and then I remember going like ‘I can just regurgitate it’,” she confessed.

“Then it’s like just one meal, one meal a week then it’s three meals a week then it’s suddenly it’s every meal.”

“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.”


It took her a very long time to speak about her disorder as she was “embarrassed” by the whole thing.

“I was mortified. I was embarrassed. I felt if I admitted that I had a problem, recovery to me just meant getting fat,” she told spencer.

“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.

“It was embarrassing to admit I lost control of myself. And I really had. It took me a long time to admit, but everyone knew. I was the talk of the town – as in my family.”

Joanne McNally
Joanne McNally

She went on to say that it was “very grim” as she was forced to sleep in her office due to her eating disorder affecting every part of her life.

“I was sleeping in my office at work because I was binging and purging in the house and it wasn’t fair on my flatmates. My mum wouldn’t let me in her house because I was binging and purging in her house and she couldn’t deal with it.”

Thankfully, she went on to say that she is in a “really good place”, and the “healthiest” she’s ever been.

If you have been affected by the content of this piece, please visit BodyWhys.ie, or you can call their helpline 01-2107906.

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