Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jackie Goldschneider talked about her decades-long battle with anorexia and how she’s “80 percent recovered” after hitting rock-bottom over two years ago.
“I haven’t been on the scale since 2021. I like the way my body looks, but I try not to put too much stock in it,” the Bravo star, 46, told Page Six while promoting her new book, The Weight of Beautiful. “And if I start to think a bad thought [about myself], I walk away from the mirror.”
The moment that pushed Jackie to enter treatment happened when she fell to the ground during her daily run on the treadmill in her basement from tendonitis pain.
“I had this moment on the floor where my body was in so much pain and I had been starving myself,” the lawyer explained. “I don’t write this in the book, but a few days before I fell, I was at the supermarket and I saw an old lady looking at the calories on the back of a frozen meal and I said, ‘That’s going to be me.’ … I had my moment on the floor and I thought about that woman. I realized that I’d be doing this until the day I died if I didn’t stop. In that moment, I just decided to start recovery.”
Viewers saw Jackie begin her road to recovery at Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders, and the reality star said the show “essentially saved my life” by keeping her accountable.
The journalist struggled with yo-yo dieting through her teens and early 20s, and she started “starving [herself]” at age 26, explaining, “I was cutting a lot [out of my diet] and I was really on a dangerous path. Once I started counting calories, it was all downhill.”
Her disordered eating was amplified when she started dating her husband, Evan Goldschneider.
“My confidence was so low. I thought if I gained weight, Evan would have no interest in me anymore — even though that wasn’t true,” she recalled. “I convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of love if I was in a bigger body. So I got very scared and it actually made me worse.”
It’s particularly hard for Jackie to look back at photos from her wedding day to Evan, whom she married in August 2006, because she was so thin you could see “every rib around my breastbone.”
“I can’t imagine now as a mom watching … my child look like that and knowing that nothing could stop her,” she said “I feel bad that I made people watch me slowly kill myself and just that no one could say a word to me. I feel bad about that stuff.”
Jackie also opened up about being “very unhealthy” while struggling with anorexia during her pregnancies. She used IVF to conceive her two sets of twins with Evan — Adin and Jonas, born in April 2008, and son Hudson and daughter Alexis, born in 2010.
“I did take chances with my health that I wish I hadn’t. I don’t know if my behavior ended up being the reason why my kids were premature, and that’s very painful for me to realize,” Jackie said. “The way that some people miss drinking wine or eating sushi when they’re pregnant, that’s the way I missed starving myself. I just couldn’t wait to starve myself again.”
The Weight of Beautiful comes out on September 26 and Jackie now works with the National Eating Disorders Association.
“I thought I would just die with those secrets,” she said. “I can’t believe that this thing that I thought would eventually kill me turned into this amazing book that will help others. I’m really proud of it.”