Fearne Cotton had a secret 10-year battle with bulimia.

The 38-year-old presenter has opened up about how the ''intense'' eating disorder ''ruled'' her life during her 20s and it wasn't until she decided she wanted children with her husband Jesse Wood in 2011 that she reached a turning point.

Speaking during an interview on 'How To Fail With Elizabeth Day; podcast, she said: ''It's been this weird secret I've felt a little bit embarrassed of, a little bit ashamed of, a little bit worried about. I'm still worried now about what people are going to think when I share this side of myself. I had this new release I invented for myself - to have bulimia. I had that on/off for a good decade of my life.

''In the beginning of my 20s it was quite intense and sort of ruled everything. In my later 20s it was more like a bad habit I'd kick into if something emotional was happening or if I felt out of control. It was my go-to thing but wasn't as regular.

''It was something no one knew about me because at times I was very overexposed.Partly it was about control. I had this first chunk of my life doing normal family things and the next chunk switched up and it was bonkers at times so it was a way of feeling I was calling the shots.

''I am sad to look back and see it was so out of control. I never binged and puked up. I ate regular meals but then got rid of it all and it felt like a release.''

Fearne - who has Rex, six, and Honey, four, with Jesse - suffered negative thoughts about her body after she gave birth but refused to let the illness win.

She explained: ''I'd met Jesse and wasn't regularly purging but it would still be a fallback if things felt stressful. At this point I desperately wanted to have a baby.

''Getting pregnant, I let go of all of it. I ate everything in sight. It just went overnight. It came back, the feelings of loathing about my body after the birth, but I didn't go back to the illness. I knew I had to stick to a very practical way of looking at food to sustain my health for myself and my newborn baby.''