Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall: Anorexia nearly killed me

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  Singer Jade Thirlwall of the Girl Group Little Mix performs live at the Hard Rock Cafe on November 3, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has spoken out about her struggle with anorexia, revealing doctors warned her she could die if she didn't start eating.

The 26-year-old made revelations about her battle with the deadly condition while recording BBC Sounds Life Hacks podcast I've Been There: Jade Thirlwall & Anorexia.

Thirlwall told host Katie Thistleton: "Anorexia was my own dark secret and I guess I was sort of satisfied with that. It was my own thing that I could do to myself and nobody knew about it.

"I obviously became very small and my ribs were sticking out. I was very gaunt and I used to wear a lot of baggy clothes to hide that.

"In my head, I felt so down and depressed about everything that was going on in my life, I really just wanted to sort of waste away.

"I got in a really horrible state. The turning point, and the reason why I first told my counsellor, was when I got tired of hating myself so much.

"The second turning point for me was when I was at hospital and the doctors told me that I would die if I kept doing it."

The South Shields-raised star went on to explain how it was hearing this which made her begin to make changes. She said: "To hear somebody say that to you is actually quite scary and I started to realise how damaging it was for my family.

"I'd become so selfish with how I felt about myself I forgot that I had family and friends who were also really hurting because of what I was doing.

"It sounds really weird, but I saw anorexia like an angel on my shoulder. Anorexia for me was control, and if I was controlling something then I was winning.

"It wasn't until I had therapy about it that I realised anorexia was actually the devil on my shoulder. That it wasn't my friend.

"I really struggled to understand that at first, because I was so isolated and didn't talk to anyone.

"I'd got so used to hearing that voice telling me, 'Don't eat that' or 'Don't look in the mirror', 'You're still ugly, you still have a long way to go'.

"It took a long time to realise that voice wasn't good for me any more."

15 PHOTOS
Little Mix
See Gallery
Little Mix
Members of the British girl group "Little Mix" pose as they arrive at the Teen Choice Awards at the Gibson amphitheatre in Universal City, California August 11, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
(L-R) Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards of British pop group "Little Mix" perform on NBC's "Today" show in New York June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
(L-R) Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards of British pop group "Little Mix" appear on NBC's "Today" show in New York June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Little Mix performs "Black Magic" during the 2015 Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
The group Little Mix poses backstage with their award for Choice Music: Breakout Artist at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Britain's Prince Harry greets members of Little Mix after the Royal Variety Performance at the Albert Hall in London, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Hackett
Members of British band Little Mix arrive for the BRIT Awards at the O2 arena in London, Britain, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Paul Hackett
Little Mix perform at the BRIT Awards at the O2 arena in London, Britain, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Members of British band Little Mix arrive for the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall EDITORIAL USE ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Little Mix accept the award for British Single at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville EDITORIAL USE ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Little Mix hold their the award for British Single at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall EDITORIAL USE ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
2017 Kids' Choice Awards - Show - Los Angeles, California, U.S., 11/03/2017 - Little Mix performs a medley. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Little Mix pose with their Best UK & Ireland award during the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards at Bilbao Exhibition Centre in Bilbao, Spain, November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
Little Mix perform at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Little Mix with the award for British Video of the Year at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena in London, Britain, February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The star began treatment and was eventually discharged by doctors just weeks before auditioning for the X Factor in 2011, where she was put into girl group Little Mix, alongside Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson.

The group won that year's show and they went on to have huge success, but Thirlwall admits it can be challenging being in the public eye.

She said: "Being famous still has a lot of downsides — like people constantly talk about the way I look if I put a little bit of weight on, and there are unflattering photos.

"Honestly, I still have times where I'll feel a bit sad or down about something, but I now don't associate that with eating any more. I don't punish myself in that way."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS