Stacey Solomon’s crushing anxiety of looking thin: ‘It made me feel sick’

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Stacey Solomon rose to fame through ‘The X Factor’ where she placed third over a decade ago, but in recent years the star has become a popular member of the ‘Loose Women’ panel. On the ITV show, the singer-turned-presenter, 30, has candidly revealed her personal struggles with a number of issues in a bid to help other women. This week, she shared a photograph of her “extra skin” on Instagram, after she slimmed down during the coronavirus lockdown and admitted that she had “lost body confidence”. Unearthed accounts reveal this isn’t the first time the star has suffered with anxiety over her weight and once felt unable to eat because of the pressure to conform to societal expectations.

During a ‘Loose Women’ segment that debated whether midlife trauma could trigger an eating disorder, the ‘You Are Not Alone’ crooner opened up about her personal struggles.

Fellow panelist and ‘EastEnders’ star Nadia Sawalha claimed to understand how food restriction could incorrectly be seen as a way to gain “some control back” during a difficult time.

In response to the BBC star, Solomon confessed that she had an “emotional relationship with food” but it felt out of her control.

She said: “If something traumatic happens, [for example] when I split-up with my partner, I just can’t [eat], the thought of eating makes me feel sick.

“When I do eat, my stomach does its own thing without me even knowing where it turns over and it comes right out – if that makes sense.

“I know it’s not a very nice image but that’s what happens with my food.”

Solomon, who has dated Joe Swash for five years, explained that if she felt “stressed, emotional or anxious” food went “straight through” her and she had “no control over it”.

She went on to explain the insecurities she struggled with when she was a larger size and felt pressure when she saw slimmer models in the media, during the 2017 ‘Loose Women’ episode. 

Solomon added: “I have been bigger than I am now and it’s probably, what I would say is, a bit too big for my own frame, for what my bones can carry.”

At that moment, an image of the star in a bikini flashed on-screen where she sported a fuller-figure. 

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She continued: “It’s not that big, I’m not medically overweight, but I felt different.

“I remember looking at magazines and seeing pictures of women that were really slim and what you’re ‘supposed to look like’ and just getting anxiety from looking at the pictures. 

“It made me feel sick and like I didn’t want to eat… I wouldn’t use it to not eat, but I physically couldn’t. 

“I would look and be like, ‘I don’t look anything like that person.’ It was horrible.”

Solomon revealed that she felt the same way before job interviews, where the stress “just clutches my stomach”.

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