Instagram star reveals her healthy eating obsession was actually a severe eating disorder

12 July 2017

“[People] came to me for advice like I was an expert and would ask me, ‘What's your secret?’ ”

“I didn’t take any risks, never going on holidays with friends because I was scared of what I would eat.”

This was the confession of Daniella Isaacs, who gained Instagram fame for her clean-eating habits -- until she recently decided to open up about her eating disorder.

Daniella says she’d been hiding her disorder behind #cleaneating for years. Her diet was so restricted that she’d shrunk four dress sizes since starting out. She’d completely cut out oil, carbs and refined sugar in order to maintain her low body weight.

But eating this way had caused her menstrual cycle to stop, her hair to fall out and she was having dizzy spells.

She recently opened up to Mail Online, telling the publication that she first started the diet in preparation for her sister’s wedding.

“I have coeliac disease, so I was already gluten-free,” she says. “But on my sister’s hen night I was speaking to one of her friends – who funnily enough didn’t have a full-time job either – and she said, ‘You have to learn about clean living. It will help your stomach.’ ”

Danielle immediately started the diet and completely cut sugar, dairy, and gluten-free bread and pasta from her diet. She started sharing colourful pictures and descriptions of her new diet on Instagram. She says the validation she got from every time someone like one of her posts, slowly started feeding her obsession.

The big problem with her eating habits was that while the food looked healthy enough in pictures, it didn't contain enough nutrients to be a balanced diet.

She also started sharing pics of her shrinking body, encouraged by her fans’ positive comments.

But today she knows that she’d been suffering from orthorexia, a condition characterised by obsessive behaviour in pursuit of a healthy diet.

Daniella, a drama graduate, remembers performing at the Adelaide Fringe in Australia and being exhausted because she was obsessing about what and when she should eat and when she’d be exercising. “I would go the gym on the way to the theatre and run 5 km before performing.

Breakfast @heliosretreats @w1nutritionist A post shared by Hear Me Raw (@daniellaisaacs) on

“I became scared of eating out with anyone because I needed to control what was put on my plate. If I went to someone’s house, I would offer to cook so that I could choose the food. If I ate at a restaurant, I always insisted on choosing it – normally vegan.”

In the midst of this private struggle with her disorder, she was gaining online fame – to the point where she was making a career out of it.

Acai trumped. @backyardbowls @jadeolivia_g #worthyofafoodpic

A post shared by Hear Me Raw (@daniellaisaacs) on

Sunday brunchings. A post shared by Hear Me Raw (@daniellaisaacs) on

“People were giving me compliments about how thin I was – despite looking borderline anorexic. They came to me for advice like I was an expert and would ask me, ‘What's your secret?’ ”


Holiday booking season.

A post shared by Hear Me Raw (@daniellaisaacs) on

She now admits that she was caught up in Instagram culture and couldn’t stop comparing herself with others.

“When I reached Instagram’s version of healthy, I got sick – I had a mental health illness, that’s what an eating disorder is. Being thinner didn’t make me any happier, I was boring and robotic.”

Sources: MetroDaily Mail, Instagram

Find Love!