New Zealand markets close in 5 hours 30 minutes
  • NZX 50

    -55.58 (-0.49%)

    -0.0110 (-1.92%)

    -121.20 (-1.79%)
  • OIL

    -0.24 (-0.31%)
  • GOLD

    -1.70 (-0.10%)

RHOBH 's Crystal Kung Minkoff on Living with an Eating Disorder: 'I've Been in Therapy Since I Was 11'

·2-min read
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Episode 18133 -- Pictured: Crystal Kung Minkoff
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Episode 18133 -- Pictured: Crystal Kung Minkoff

Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Crystal Kung Minkoff has been hesitant to talk about her eating disorder, but she recently shared that she's a recovering bulimic.

"I was never going to deep dive into it," Kung Minkoff, 39, tells PEOPLE. "I ended up being okay talking about it on camera, but it was intense."

Kung Minkoff has explained to her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills costars Kyle RichardsLisa Rinna, Dorit Kemsley, Sutton Stracke and Richards' sister Kathy Hilton that she has long struggled with disordered eating.

Still, she says, "It's hard to understand an eating disorder if you don't have one. It's complicated and nuanced and everybody's experience is different across the board."

RELATED: Crystal Kung Minkoff's RHOBH Costars Worry as Dorit Kemsley Claims She Admitted to Bulimia Relapse

Kung Minkoff, who is mom to Max, 9 and Zoe, 7, with her filmmaker husband Rob Minkoff, says she's worked hard to recover and her bulimia is now under control.

"I've been in therapy since I was 11," she says. "It's mentally exhausting. But I don't feel shame anymore because I've spent so much time working on it. I'm doing my best."

Rinna later thanked her for bringing up the topic since her own daughter Amelia Gray Hamlin battled anorexia.

RELATED VIDEO: Katie Couric on the Importance of Including Her Battle with Bulimia in Her New Book

While filming during a party last December, Kung Minkoff said that holidays can be challenging because so many events revolve around food.

"I eat and then I feel bad about it," she explains. "It's not the food. It's the control. But it's just a part of me. When I'm able to control how I feel about food, that's a good day. That's a successful day."

"I just want the [Real Housewives] to know how hyperaware I am of my weight and sort of the struggles I go through," she has said previously.

RELATED: RHOBH's Crystal Kung Minkoff Opens Up About Enduring Online Harassment: 'I Can't Stay Away From It'

And the Real Coco founder has discovered a surprising comfort — her passion for cooking.

"Part of recovery is changing the narrative of how you feel about food," she says. "I went to culinary school to combat my issues and learn to love and enjoy and appreciate food. So that has been quite healing for me — and joyful."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.