Frankie Bridge has discussed her battle with an eating disorder at the height of her fame with The Saturdays.
The singer, 31, told the Made By Mammas podcast that watching what she ate while in the band was a form of control, and that a fear of gaining weight, as she had done while expecting her sons, made her question whether or not to have a third child.
Frankie, who was in the band from 2007-2014 said: ‘I had an eating disorder 100% – I was controlling what I was eating. I didn’t eat very much. I always ran on empty.
Brave: Frankie Bridge has discussed her battle with an eating disorder at the height of her fame with The Saturdays (pictured 2011)
Adding that she had ‘no appetite’ and ‘ran on adrenaline’ she said: ‘I knew my role in the band was more about image – who I was dating – what I was wearing more than my vocals. I took that on and took that and ran with it.’
Frankie has always been open about her mental health – in 2012 she revealed she had been battling depression, after she was forced to take a hiatus from the Saturdays during which she was hospitalised for treatment.
The star has previously revealed that she had been suffering from depression since the age of 15.
The All Fired Up hitmaker also discussed the impact on her self-esteem when she gained four stone while pregnant with son Parker in 2013, whose father is the star’s husband Wayne Bridge.
Hard: The All Fired Up hitmaker also discussed the impact on her self-esteem when she gained four stone while pregnant with son Parker in 2013, whose father is the star’s husband Wayne Bridge (pictured at seven months pregnant in 2013)
She said: ‘I was on a combination of two anti-depressants. One of which I had got put on when I lost a lot of weight and went into hospital.
‘It turned out that this particular medication really holds onto water. So when I got pregnant with Parker. I literally gained water like no tomorrow. By the time I was three months, I had no ankles.
‘I kept gaining and gaining weight. It was horrible. One, because it was the first time I had ever gained weight and being so out of control.
Throwback: Frankie, who was in the band from 2007-2014 said: ‘I had an eating disorder 100% – I was controlling what I was eating. I didn’t eat very much. I always ran on empty (pictured 2011)
‘And two, I was very much still in the public eye. I was performing next to the girls who were all still a size eight and a size six.
‘I was dancing on stage and I felt really embarrassed to be there. I felt like people were disgusted by me, to watch me.
‘It was weird. It is supposed to be the happiest time. And it was – but I didn’t like how it made me feel. For me pregnancy is more a means to an end. I get the gorgeous baby at the end but I don’t enjoy the process in between.
Girlband: she said: ‘I knew my role in the band was more about image – who I was dating – what I was wearing more than my vocals. I took that on and took that and ran with it’ (pictured with The Saturdays in 2010)
Speaking about expecting her youngest son Carter, five, she said: ‘When I had my second – I am not a religious person – the minute I found out I was pregnant I burst into tears and said: “I don’t want to get fat again.”
‘Then I got sick and lost half a stone really quickly.
‘This is God punishing me for wanting to get pregnant but not wanting to get fat again.’
Self conscious: Frankie said of her weight gain while pregnant : ‘I was dancing on stage and I felt really embarrassed to be there. I felt like people were disgusted by me, to watch me’ (pictured 2013 while pregnant with son Parker)
The star said she felt trepidation over a third pregnancy because she had finally reached a point where she felt ‘semi-comfortable’ with her body.
Asked if she’d have any more kids, she said: ‘I always say to Wayne, “If we had a third you would have to ship me off to America and slice me up. It has been hard enough to get my body to a point where I feel semi comfortable.
‘I’ve got stretch marks and skin that isn’t as tight as it used to be so even if I lost loads of weight and toned up I would still have that skin.
‘That is something I find really hard to accept. I see these other woman who really own their new body and wear their stretch marks as a suit of armour. I envy those women. I know I will never be one of those.’
Her rock: Frankie is pictured with now-husband Wayne Bridge in January 2012 – four months after she entered a psychiatric hospital after a breakdown
The star embraced a healthier lifestyle after registering for Lucy Mecklenburgh’s RWL (Results Wellness Lifestyle) app.
She has previously been credited for her accessible approach to exercise and staying motivated while raising two young children with husband Wayne and juggling busy work commitments.
Frankie has spoken candidly about battling mental health issues including anxiety and depression and has been honest about struggling to get motivated during lockdown.
She said: ‘I was actually during the first lockdown that I really got into fitness. I knew that mentally I needed to keep myself busy and stick to some kind of routine.
‘My workouts helped me to feel like I’d achieved something. It was less about my body, although obviously, I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t nice to see it changing – but it was mainly for my brain.’
She added: ‘Exercise makes me feel ready to start the day. There are times when I really don’t want to work out, but I have to remember that feeling afterwards. I’m really not someone who enjoys exercise, but I know the benefits are good.
For help and support with eating disorders contact SEED on (01482) 718130 or visit www.seedeatingdisorders.org.uk
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here for details.
Happy families: Frankie and husband Wayne are parents to two sons Parker, seven, and Carter, five