Jessie Wynter opens up about her struggle with body dysmorphia, losing motivation, and battling depression, revealing how it consumed her life after her second Love Island stint

Jessie Wynter opens up about her struggle with body dysmorphia, losing motivation, and battling depression, revealing how it consumed her life after her second Love Island stint

TRIGGER WARNING: Strong content ahead 

Love Island’s Jessie Wynter has revealed she was ‘depressed’ and ‘lost all motivation’ at the height of her eating disorder battle.

The influencer, 27, who has appeared on the Australian and UK version of the dating show, was first diagnosed with body dysmorphia at the age of 19 having struggled with her weight and body image since she was a young teen.

In an exclusive interview during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Jessie told MailOnline that due to ‘stress’ and an ‘uncomfortable environment’ she suffered a relapse after her second stint on Love Island. 

Jessie explained that prior to reality TV she worked in banking, but was forced to quit when she fell into the ‘deepest part of her eating disorder’.

She said: ‘I had no energy, so I quit my job because I just really wasn’t well enough to work and because I was suffering with an eating disorder I did fall quite depressed and I just lost any motivation and any care for anything.

‘My eating disorder literally consumed my whole life.’

Love Island's Jessie Wynter has revealed she was 'depressed' and 'lost all motivation' at the height of her eating disorder battle

Love Island’s Jessie Wynter has revealed she was ‘depressed’ and ‘lost all motivation’ at the height of her eating disorder battle

The influencer, 27, who has appeared on the Australian and UK version of the dating show, was first diagnosed with body dysmorphia at the age of 19 having struggled with her weight and body image since she was a young teenager (pictured in 2018)

The influencer, 27, who has appeared on the Australian and UK version of the dating show, was first diagnosed with body dysmorphia at the age of 19 having struggled with her weight and body image since she was a young teenager (pictured in 2018)

Speaking on what triggered her eating disorder, Jessie said: ‘For me there are lots of contributing factors. One of them being low self-esteem and I actually had undiagnosed ADHD at the time. 

‘So when I got my ADHD diagnosis, it did start to make a lot more sense. But yeah, it almost became like a coping mechanism for how I felt about myself. 

‘I had a lot of negative feelings towards myself while going through body dysmorphia and then I found an eating disorder and being obsessive about the foods I eat and my exercise. 

‘It was a way to take my mind off what I was going through in other areas of my life and then unfortunately, social media started to become a big part of my life as well. I guess those added pressures all actually fed into my eating disorder.’

Jessie added: ‘I had issues with my body image long before social media, but when you are also getting these comments on how you look and on your weight gain, your weight loss and what’s going on with your body, I think that also just feeds into it.’

During her early twenties, Jessie qualified as a PT and wanted to become a positive role model to her clients. 

As part of this she mentally healed and physically reached a healthy weight again, however, she still struggled with disordered eating.

In an exclusive interview during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Jessie told MailOnline that due to 'stress' and an 'uncomfortable environment' she suffered a relapse after her second stint on Love Island (pictured in 2023)

In an exclusive interview during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Jessie told MailOnline that due to ‘stress’ and an ‘uncomfortable environment’ she suffered a relapse after her second stint on Love Island (pictured in 2023)

Jessie explained that prior to reality TV she worked in banking, but was forced to quit when she fell into the 'deepest part of her eating disorder' (pictured in 2019)

Jessie explained that prior to reality TV she worked in banking, but was forced to quit when she fell into the ‘deepest part of her eating disorder’ (pictured in 2019)

Going onto Love Island Australia, Jessie – who competed in Miss Universe Australia a few months prior – vowed not to be insecure about her body and went in with a mindset that she was there for her personality, not her body and she felt confident throughout the show. 

Unfortunately during her time on Love Island UK, due to the drama that went on, Jessie slipped back into old habits and lost a huge amount of weight again. 

Jessie was accused of being ‘fake’ by several of her fellow islanders, which left her in tears at the time. 

She explained: ‘I must admit, when I came off Love Island UK, I did have a relapse. It wasn’t as severe as it has been in the past and relapses are actually very common.

‘I’m not going to be ashamed of it because it does happen and I do think the reason for the relapse was purely stress and just being very uncomfortable and in a very stressful environment, especially when you’re dealing with relationships, it can be very difficult. 

‘It did actually take me off guard that I did go through that again at the start of last year.’

This was a big step back for Jessie, but she was quick to seek professional help and guidance to get herself back to a healthy weight and mindset.

She added: ‘I think the thing that matters most is I was very quick to recover and I want to make sure that other people don’t look at what they saw on TV and see that as a role model either.’

Jessie said Love Island ‘production were absolutely amazing’ and she had one to two wellbeing meetings every single day.

Despite her tough time in the South African villa, Jessie found love on the 2023 winter series of UK Love Island will boyfriend Will Young

Despite her tough time in the South African villa, Jessie found love on the 2023 winter series of UK Love Island will boyfriend Will Young

During her early twenties, Jessie qualified as a PT and wanted to become a positive role model to her clients

During her early twenties, Jessie qualified as a PT and wanted to become a positive role model to her clients

She added: ‘I think there were circumstances in the villa where people were talking about calories a lot and it was triggering, but you know that’s what happens when you put yourself in an environment with a group of other people that aren’t aware of how much damage these types of words can do.’

Despite her tough time in the South African villa, Jessie found love on the 2023 winter series of UK Love Island will boyfriend Will Young.

Jessie said: ‘Will of course has been so supportive since we’ve come out and as well as my family, despite them being on the other side of the world. 

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a vital opportunity to raise awareness of eating disorders, and this year runs from February 26 to March 3. 

Jessie hopes voicing her story will help educate people about eating disorders, whilst de-stigmatising seeking professional help.

She said: ‘I just really want to make sure that I am a positive role model and help people avoid the mistakes I made. I want people to understand that you’re not alone in this even if you do feel alone.

‘There’s no such thing as having to be sick enough, or thin enough to experience this. Anyone at any size can go through it and I think we all need to be there for each other and continue to raise that awareness and break those stigmas down.’

For help and advice with eating disorders, contact Beat Eating Disorders or text SHOUT to 85258 

Or contact SEED on (01482) 718130 or visit www.seedeatingdisorders.org.uk

Body dysmorphia: The mental health condition that sees sufferers obsess over their flaws

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition where a person obsessively worries about flaws in their physical appearance.

Sufferers develop compulsive behaviors and routines, such as excessive use of mirrors or avoiding them completely.

These obsessions and behaviors cause emotional distress, and have a significant impact on people’s ability to carry on with their day-to-day life.

In this way, the condition is closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Experts estimate that the disorder affects about 2.4 per cent of adults in the U.S. overall, with the condition usually developing around the age of 12 or 13.

BDD can vary in severity from person-to-person and from day-to-day.

For some, concerns around appearance may make it difficult for them to go out in public or see other people.

For others, they need to uphold what they perceive as a perfect look.

BDD may also cause other problems such as feelings of shame, guilt and loneliness.

People with the condition may isolate themselves to avoid situations where their appearance may cause them anxiety or awkwardness.

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