Dawn O'Porter said stripping down for BBC show freed her of body dysmorphia: 'There's nothing to hide anymore'
Dawn O'Porter has opened up about overcoming her battle with body dysmorphia.
The author and broadcaster (37) said stripping down for a shoot on her BBC Three documentary in 2011, Dawn Gets Naked, was key in boosting her body confidence.
Dawn, who is married to Irish actor Chris O'Dowd (36) wrote in her latest Glamour column about a series of life lessons to lasting happiness - including posing nude on national television.
"I'd never been massively body confident, but after taking off my clothes in Dawn Gets Naked (my second documentary) my issues disappeared," she wrote.
"The world - or a few hundred thousand of them - had seen my naked body. There was nothing to hide anymore. It was like taking all the happy pills all at once, it was so liberated to be rid of the dysmorphia that had held me back for so long. Now, I like what I see in the mirror: my boobs are OK, I don't have much of a bum, and I'm at peace with the fact that I'll never have a six pack.
"I don't need my body to be perfect, I don't need to be 'skinny' and toned to be a writer. I'm slim but cuddly, and I'm down with that!"
The mother-of-one to son Art (15 months) added that she embraces a gluten free diet these days and gave up cigarettes 10 years ago when she had an epiphany about her health as her aunt was dying.
"Rewind fifteen years and I'd often find myself bent double with abdominal pain so severe I'd need to go to hospital. I was told to steer clear of wheat, to which I scoffed. But when I eventually listened - and acknowledged I had a wheat intolerance - it transformed my health," she added.
"The pain stopped. I educated myself about nutrition - I honestly used to think that white bread and a glass of white wine was a healthy snack. Sure, I still indulge but I make sure I get the good stuff too.
"As for quitting smoking, ten years ago, my darling aunty was in intensive care and we didn't think she was going to make it. I sat with her every day for weeks, but I'd still take breaks to step outside to smoke. One day, I thought, 'What the hell am I doing?' I was wasting precious time, time I could be with my aunty, with a cigarette.
"It was a revelation. I went back to her bedside and I never smoked again."