Hiding an eating disorder from friends and family has been difficult enough for Bergen County's Jackie Goldschneider.
In 2018, when she joined the cast of Bravo's "Real Housewives of New Jersey," hiding things became even more difficult.
She saved her non-calorie-counting meals for when cameras were rolling, but doubled down on the restriction behind the scenes, she said in a recent episode of the Betches podcast Diet Starts Tomorrow.
She hoped no one would notice, but the process was torturous, she said. In August 2021, Goldschneider got help got help.
The former real-estate attorney-turned journalist and mom of four has been opening up about her struggle with anorexia on this season of the show, but told Betches DST host Aleen Kuperman that her battle with anorexia began long before she was in the public eye.
Goldschneider went on her first diet in her senior year of high school — determined to be "the girl who boys could pick up with their pinky" just like one of her classmates, she tells Kuperman.
When her doctor sent her to Weight Watchers, she said she felt like she "found God." That was when Goldschneider began slowly eliminating more and more food from her diet, dropping down in dress sizes rapidly.
She was in the throes of it when she met her now-husband, Evan, but became fearful that if she gained the weight back he'd stop loving her. So, she restricted even harder, she said.
Goldschneider became more determined to stay small, and sacrificed many foodie experiences on her honeymoon, family trips and more, as her identity became more entangled with her body size — no matter how hungry she was.
When she joined "RHONJ" in 2018, Goldschneider told the cast on a trip to Oklahoma that she had struggled with food in the past, but was in recovery. She said she told the white lie in hopes that no one would question her, and so when she did decide to get help later it, it might be easier having already made the admission.
Seeing herself on TV didn't make her disordered eating worse, rather, Goldschneider said it was validating to get comments from people telling her to eat more.
"That kind of comment actually feels good," she said. "But the ones about my looks made me self conscious."
It wasn't until her therapist told her last August that she had anorexia, and Goldschneider committed to recovery.
Goldschneider tells Kuperman her transparency on television is in hopes of saving others the way she saved herself.
If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorder has social workers available via text, phone or online chat.
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