Michelle Heaton has revealed that she spent years addicted to diet pills.
The singer had been using the pills since she was 19, and continued to take as many as six pills per day during the height of her fame with band Liberty X – culminating in a terrifying near-death experience.
‘Nobody knew, family, friends, nobody,’ she admits during an appearance on ITV’s Save Money: Good Health. ‘When you’re addicted to something you will do whatever it takes to get them.
‘There was one night when I was lying on my sofa and my heart just went into a really irregular pattern and then it kind of stopped, I felt really dizzy and almost blacked out.
‘I thought I was going to die, I honestly thought that was it my life was over.’
Michelle, pictured in 2003 with her Liberty X bandmates, says that she often compared herself to the other girls in the group
When doctors told Michelle the damage that the pills had been doing, she says that she was ‘devastated’.
‘I had been taking them for so long and I kind of knew they weren’t right, and I knew they were doing damage but I didn’t want to own up to it,’ she explains.
‘I wanted to be a singer, I wanted to have a career in the industry and stupidly I just wanted a quick fix. I almost didn’t want to put in the hard work. I wanted the easy option and I thought the diet pills were an easy option.
‘The other two girls got to wear really tight PVC catsuits and when I went for the fitting I couldn’t fit into them, so they made me a dress. That was highly embarrassing.’
Michelle, pictured with her children Faith and Aaron, now uses balanced eating and exercise to keep her fit and healthy
Michelle no longer takes the pills, and now keeps fit with the help of her personal trainer husband Hugh Hanley. She follows a balanced, nutritious diet to keep herself healthy, frequently posting pictures to her Instagram account of meals like fish and vegetables and spiralized courgetti.
Worryingly, 62% of medicines bought online are fake or substandard, and Michelle is glad she was made aware of the dangers before it was too late.
‘Whether it was a fake website or not didn’t even cross my mind. I just wanted the diet pills,’ she adds.
‘I feel like I’ve had a very lucky escape. I literally cheated death.’