Hilary Duff is finally ready to share her story.
In her new cover story for Women's Health Australia, the 35-year-old actress opened up about her experience growing up in front of the camera and how that led to body dysmorphia as a teen, as well as a year-long struggle with an eating disorder when she was 17.
"Because of my career path, I can't help but be like, ‘I am on camera and actresses are skinny,'" Duff told the fitness publication, alluding to the pressures that came with being a child star known for her breakout roles in 1998's Casper Meets Wendy and the Disney Channel's beloved Lizzie McGuireseries.
She continued, "It was horrifying."
Though she didn't go into further detail, Duff did go on to discuss her successful recovery and subsequent cultivation of a healthier relationship with her body, saying that she's now "appreciating my health, doing activities that make me feel strong instead of just bettering the outside of my body."
The mother of three added, "Spending time with people that make me feel good and share similar views on health and body positivity and getting enough sleep and balance in my diet."
But as anyone who's struggled with an eating disorder knows, a support system is crucial to recovery. And for Duff, part of this has come from her personal trainer, Dominic Leeder, who explained that the How I Met Your Father star opts for a more holistic approach to fitness, mostly thanks to her packed schedule.
"I don't feel like she'll mind me saying this: yes, her fitness and health are hugely important to Hilary," Leeder said. "What's more important to her is her family and work. When she comes home from work, she wants to spend time with her family because she spends very little time with them when she's hard at work, so every moment counts."
You can read Duff's entire Women's Health Australia story here.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237.
Photo via Getty / Peter Kramer
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