Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Jackie Goldschneider
Jackie Goldschneider is getting candid about her relationship with food, revealing that she "would not call myself recovered yet" after struggling with an eating disorder for the last 18 years of her life.
"It's been about a full year that I've been in active recovery," she told the outlet. "My relationship with food is so much better, but not nearly where I need it to be."
Though Goldschneider said she's eating a lot more — with a few exceptions — she still follows "rules that make me feel secure and safe when I'm eating." Despite the progress, the Bravo star said her therapist and nutritionist encourage her to get to a point of eating intuitively without thinking about rules.
"I'm not there yet," she admitted. "I try to recognize my hunger cues and eat according to them and stop when I'm not hungry anymore, but I'm not to the point where I feel comfortable honoring hunger cues all day without a set limit."
"The bigger issue for me is how I feel about my body. I have to get to a much better place with that," Goldschneider added.
The reality star told E! that she finds herself having mixed emotions or feeling unnecessarily insecure about her body in the summer.
"I was filming and I was wearing a little tank top and all I kept thinking, 'What about this area here and this area here?' And, you know...who cares? It's just skin," she said, noting that she's vocal about her eating disorder "because I don't want people to think that it's a really quick process of recovery and it's easy, because it's not."
She praised the support she's received since sharing her story on RHONJ. "The amount of people who have reached out and told me it helped them was amazing," she said. "It is clearly my purpose on the show."
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Earlier this year, Goldschneider revealed on the reality show that she was "afraid" her eating disorder was rearing up again after realizing that her kids picked up on her "ritualized" eating habits.
"I'm so scared of food and I'm so scared of gaining weight but I'm hungry all the time," she told her husband Evan. "I'm afraid that I'm going to relapse and kill myself. I just don't want to do this anymore."
"It's one thing if I do it to myself, but it's another thing if I make my kids think that it's normal behavior," she said.
The heartfelt conversation led to the mom of four agreeing to start therapy for additional help.
Goldschneider previously opened up to PEOPLE about her past history with anorexia, restricted eating and excessive exercising, saying that she stepped on the scale one day and realized, "I'm going to die if I don't stop."
The reality star spent the next four years in treatment, and said in 2018 that she's "really proud" of her progress.
"I'm really proud of coming out of the other side because it was so hard," she said. "It's really not a way to live. It's horrible. It was absolutely horrible. And I'm hoping that I can help people out there like me, who usually just suffer in silence. Because I wish I knew that one day, I'd get through it. That was always a fear of mine that I would never stop doing this."
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.