Jennette McCurdy has revealed that her eating disorder was so severe at one point that she could have died from it.
In a new interview with People, McCurdy admitted that she “was a mess for a long time” due to anorexia, binge eating and bulimia.
Content Warning Below // eating disorders, abuse
McCurdy’s mother introduced her to diet restriction at the age of 11. McCurdy noted that her mother had physically and mentally abused her.
“My mom said she could teach me how to count calories and we could be a team, but I had to keep it a secret,” the former said. iCarly star revealed. “I thought it was an opportunity for my mom and I to be closer.”
Back then, McCurdy was consuming just 1,000 calories a day, and some days she ate even fewer to impress her mother. By the time she was officially cast on iCarly as the greedy character of Sam Puckett, she was immersed in her battle with anorexia.
While filming for Nickelodeon, McCurdy worried about when she had to eat food and spit it out while filming scenes that some of the calories would absorb into her body. However, she managed to keep her messy eating a secret from the castmates on set. McCurdy said she believed the cast was simply attributing her weight loss to normal growth and body fluctuations.
When she was 18, McCurdy’s mother was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. The actress’ eating habits turned into binge eating. When her mother passed away in 2013, she began purging herself to try and cope with the loss.
“Bulimia took over my life very quickly,” she admitted. “I was vomiting up to 10 times a day and was completely unable to stop. But the cycle of bulimia kept me numb. It was a full-time job so there was no space to face my problems or mourn my mother. “
McCurdy ended up having two wake-up calls.
The first was when she passed out in her co-star Miranda Cosgrove’s bathroom. “I had purged and passed out on the cold marble floor,” she recalls. “It terrifies me because I could have died choking on my own vomit.”
The second incident took place while she was on an airplane and her tooth fell out due to the wear and tear of the enamel by stomach acid from constant purging.
“I realized that destroying myself was not going to help anything,” said McCurdy.
After undergoing two years of intense dialectical behavior therapy, the actress has not purged or restricted her food intake in years. “I feel very deeply and very strongly about saying that I have finally recovered,” she concluded.