Dancing With The Stars pro Karina Smirnoff has bravely opened up about her previous battle with eating issues and gives okmagazine.com a no holds barred insight into her struggles, which happened over 10 years ago, and subsequent triumph at now living a healthy life.
The 34-year-old brunette beauty says her body image issues started at a young age because there was such a pressure to have a perfect body in the competitive dance world.
"I competed since I was 2 years old I was always trying to be in a certain weight class and a certain shape and I think when I turned professional there was a certain period when I literally only drank water for two weeks because I wanted to slim down," Karina explained about the incident that happened in her teens.
"And you know unfortunately we diet and we do stuff to our bodies that is going to later on result in your metabolism and your digestion and the flora of the stomach. It’s always a problem. Sometimes you take dieting so far that it turns into anorexia or bulimia.
"But it’s so not healthy. There are so many ways to be fit and to be in great shape not to do damage to your body. But when you’re younger and you have issues with your image you go to extremes and unfortunately I don’t think we have a lot of information at hand to learn about everything that you can do without going to that extreme."
Karina says it was this time in her life that she realized that she had to make a change and find healthier ways to stay in shape.
"It was when I didn’t eat for two weeks and after that I was so nervous because I was about to do a competition and I had no energy and my body started reacting in a way that I hadn’t experienced before," she recalled.
"I try to eat as healthy as I can because if I don’t my digestion and metabolism isn’t working the best way it can. So I always try to come up with supplements or something to help my body get back to the best possible condition."
The Ukrainian star has been on the hit ABC show for 12 seasons and walked away with the mirrorball trophy in season 13 when she was partnered with J. R. Martinez.
Karina denied on Wednesday that she is dating The Bachelorette star Arie Luyendyk Jr. after he was a guest on the show last month.
"Huge fan of the Bachelor but my love only goes as far as watching it on TV," she tweeted. "Not a fan of lies or rumors but have to laugh at this one! :)"
Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC.