Real Housewife Jackie Goldschneider On Why She Went Public With Her Eating Disorder - Exclusive

Cast members on the "Real Housewives" understand their private lives aren't really private. After all, one of the main reasons viewers tune in every week is to live vicariously through their glitzy, drama-filled lives, which sometimes consist of one jealously-fueled cat fight after another. On top of that, the Housewives have real-life problems that are far from glamorous, and that includes divorce, conflicts with their children, business challenges, and more.

Last season, viewers of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" followed Jackie Goldschneider through an exceptionally vulnerable time in her life as she battled a longtime eating disorder. This season, viewers will see a bit less of Goldschneider, who's stepping back to give herself more time and personal space to focus on recovery. 

While she's taking on a lower-profile role, she's still a vocal advocate for those struggling with disordered eating. In this exclusive interview with Health Digest, Goldschneider shares why it's critical to talk frankly about eating disorders and her own struggles.

She wants others struggling with eating disorders to know they're not alone

Most people know what common eating disorders are. Many also know someone who's experienced one. Chances are, unless that person is exceptionally close, the topic is not something they will likely mention. Similarly, those close to said person may dance around the subject, if they bring it up at all. Jackie Goldschneider wants to end this stigma. 

"I'm open about it because I feel like one of the reasons I stayed sick for so long was because nobody talks about it," Goldschneider said. "I had a lot of shame and a lot of secrets, and I wish people did talk about it because then maybe I would've gotten some help sooner." On top of that, Goldchneider addressed how she struggled in silence for so long because she didn't know others were experiencing disordered eating as well. 

"I realized that I couldn't talk about my eating disorder for so long because I didn't think anybody would understand," Goldschneider said. "I didn't think anybody else had it except for me because no one talked about it." 

She has an upcoming book about her struggle and recovery

In some cases, disordered eating is triggered by outside influences, as was the case for Jackie Goldschneider. Her anorexia was triggered specifically by feeling alone in an unfamiliar environment during high school, which led to overeating and weight gain initally. 

One may assume that a high-pressure situation, like being on a series like "Real Housewives," would also make this struggle difficult; however, Goldschneider found being on the show was motivating. As part of her campaign to raise awareness about eating disorders, she is releasing a book, "The Weight of Beautiful," which chronicles her struggle. 

"It's my journey, but with a reality show twist and how being in the center of one of the most highly rated reality shows of all time and trying to hide this terrible world of secrets on a very public, worldwide stage,"  Goldschneider said. "[It's] what that was like and how, ultimately, the show did end up saving my life by forcing me to come clean." 

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT each week, and the episode streams the next day on Peacock. "The Weight of Beautiful" is available for pre-order now and will be out on September 26.

If you need help with an eating disorder or know someone who does, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).