When Joanna first moved to L.A., she couldn't get modeling work which in turn led her to depression and binge eating. She tells the latest issue of Star Magazine (on-sale now) that she gained over twenty pounds. "I cried every day," she says.
To then lose the weight, Joanna didn't hit the gym. "I had never worked out or dieted, and I didn't want to start!" she says. "I wanted the easy way out, so I bought laxatives. Then I started starving myself all day, then bingeing at night because I was so hungry."
She lost the weight but it came with a steep price. At some point, she knew that she was addicted to the laxatives. "I had to keep taking more and more to make them work, and if I didn't take them, I couldn't go to the bathroom," she explains. "It started to show in my face and body. I was dry and dehydrated, and it made my skin wrinkled and my hair crunchy, and I had no energy. I came to L.A. outgoing and healthy, and now my need to be thin had ruined me."
Eventually, Joanna had to seek medical help, which included work with a nutritionist and acupuncturist, to stop using the pills. These days she has a much more healthy way of keeping herself fit. "I work out four to five times a week, run, and I do CrossFit," she says. "I still worry about being camera ready, but I'm no longer obsessed."
She hopes that her story will help other women to not fall in the same trap. "The danger I put myself in is so frightening. I was lucky to not have any long-term effects, and now I just want other girls and women to know that there is help out there."