Southern Charm star Ashley Jacobs is responding to critics who have noticed her dramatic weight loss this season.
The 33-year-old Bravo star blamed her weight loss on the stressful nature of appearing on reality TV during the reunion episode last week, when asked about her health by host Andy Cohen.
"I know a lot of people on social media have been concerned about your weight loss. You look different than you look on the show," Cohen told the controversial reality star.
"Yes, the pressure of filming made me nervous," Jacobs admitted. "It would be hard for me to eat before because I would be so nervous about what to expect."
"And then afterward, I had such a hard time even eating, going, 'I shouldn't have said that. I shouldn't have said this,'" she continued. "And it caused a lot of stress. I put a lot of pressure on myself."
When Cohen pointed out she hadn't been filming for the show for quite a while, Jacobs said that watching the show air and taking criticism from fans was also stressful.
"You have to add allegations, people saying tough things," she said. "You know, I'm the villain [in the show]. It didn't just happen overnight."
Jacobs, who is dating accused sexual abuser Thomas Ravenel, also clapped back about her body on Instagram in June, posting a series of bikini photos alongside a lengthy caption.
"I was going to say in my caption something like, 'Happy Summer Solstice' and turn commenting off. But then I thought, 'Who am I kidding?'" She wrote in the post. "Turn commenting off so I don't have to read all the comments on how unhealthy I look? How about I be honest with all of you and address this weight concern once and for all."
She added that she had been battling "severe anxiety" for months, writing, "So here goes… in the last 8 months I have struggled with severe anxiety related to stress. I was completely overwhelmed with moving across the country, leaving my family and friends, being in a new relationship, not having my nursing license, oh and being on a reality TV show!" she wrote. "I made these choices and I take complete accountability for them. What I lacked was proper coping mechanisms."
Jacobs said as a result she "dropped a lot of weight in a matter of months."
"I was putting too much pressure on myself, not taking care of my health and fitness, along with other external stressors," she said. "People deal with stress in a multitude of ways (some of them healthy, some of them not so much). It's important to monitor your response to stress, anxiety, or any other negative emotion in order to keep your health in check. I've learned the hard way that you need to ask for help when things aren't going well. You need to talk to qualified professionals, get medical support, and not feel ashamed or try to 'tough it out.' It isn't easy, but there is hope for me and I believe that things will get better."
"I'm allowing comments but if you could please try to refrain from saying, 'Eat a cheeseburger, you're on drugs, you have an eating disorder, or you're way too skinny,' I'd appreciate it because TRUST ME, I know… I've heard it all and it doesn't help," she continued. "I appreciate everyone's concern and hope you can all support me. I know how far I have strayed from who I used to be, and could be once again. I'm committed to choosing my health and well-being first."
Photo credit: Instagram/Ashley Jacobs