Former Hollyoaks star Melissa Wells opens up about her eating disorder: "This was about seven years of my life"

Former Hollyoaks star Melissa Wells has opened up about her relationship with food and overcoming an eating disorder that she lived with for a number of years.

Wells, who played Loretta Jones in the soap in 2008, appeared on yesterday’s (July 12) Loose Women to talk about her own experiences ahead of her new book launch, Hungry for More.

Speaking frankly to the panel, Melissa revealed that she initially developed an eating disorder when she was just 16 years old and at performing arts college.

[Melissa Wells in Hollyoaks]

“This was a really restrictive disorder – hardly eating anything – and then it swung completely the other way into binge-eating, over-eating, emotional eating and then bulimia,” she explained.

“About seven years of my life, this was.”

Reflecting on why she believes she developed the disorder, Melissa said: “I think it’s really common around that age, because young girls are then becoming women [and they’re] unsure how to fit into this new body.

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Today has been one huge day of WTF!!!! ??❤️ . . Thanks to you guys tuning in to watch me on @loosewomen, Hungry For More today went to #2 on ALL OF AMAZON…. what even is life!!?! ??? Pure madness! It’s now #1 in self help, #1 in practical and motivational, and #1 in psychology and eating disorders. Holy guacamole you guys. ? (And by the way, I am obsessed with Stephen Covey and Dr Jordan Peterson’s books! Two huge mentors for me!) ??????? . . I am so happy this message is landing for you guys and truly hope you love this book. Thank you for your incredible support and feedback so far. I am staying present, celebrating everything and enjoying every single second. Thank you for letting me share all of this with you. ❤️ @hayhouseuk @hayhouseinc . . #HungryForMore @loosewomen ?

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Today has been one huge day of WTF!!!! 🤯😱❤️ . . Thanks to you guys tuning in to watch me on @loosewomen, Hungry For More today went to #2 on ALL OF AMAZON…. what even is life!!?! 🤯🤯🤯 Pure madness! It’s now #1 in self help, #1 in practical and motivational, and #1 in psychology and eating disorders. Holy guacamole you guys. 🥑 (And by the way, I am obsessed with Stephen Covey and Dr Jordan Peterson’s books! Two huge mentors for me!) 😑🤯🙈😱🙌🏼💥 . . I am so happy this message is landing for you guys and truly hope you love this book. Thank you for your incredible support and feedback so far. I am staying present, celebrating everything and enjoying every single second. Thank you for letting me share all of this with you. ❤️ @hayhouseuk @hayhouseinc . . #HungryForMore @loosewomen 💫

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“I started dieting as a way to fit in with people at college, because everyone was scrutinising their bodies and I wanted to be liked and fit in. I was such a perfectionist that I took it to the extreme.”

The soap star turned nutritionist and food psychologist went on to say that she hopes to help people improve their relationships with food and dieting, arguing that “why” we eat is more important than “what” we eat.

Beat promotes awareness and understanding of eating disorders, also challenging inaccurate stereotypes and stigma. Find out more at Beat’s website. Beat’s helpline for those aged 18 and over is 0808 801 0677, and there’s also a dedicated Youthline for those under 18 – 0808 801 0711.

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