Nicole Scherzinger: 'Eating disorder stole my happiness'
Nicole Scherzinger felt "imprisoned" at the height of her battle with bulimia.
The 37-year-old singer is known for her svelte physique, which she frequently shows off in posts on social media. However, in a new interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, Nicole admits that learning to accept her body has taken some time, due to her struggle with the eating disorder.
"I'm more accepting of my body now. I was always very critical of myself from a young age, and when I was 14, I started running," she explained. "I would go outside in the middle of the night and run, because I thought I had to be thinner and that my thighs should look a certain way."
The image built up by Nicole's band The Pussycat Dolls also didn't help her eating issues, due to the singers all having to stay fit and slim.
"When I got The Pussycat Dolls, it really amplified that because it had so much to do with showing your body off," Nicole remembered. "It was very imprisoning and it stole all of my happiness, confidence and memories."
Nicole went public with her bulimia battle after The Pussycat Dolls split in 2010. She added that while she felt under pressure to maintain her "perfect" image in the band, she is glad she eventually discussed her eating issues because she feels she may have helped others suffering from similar problems.
"A big part of that was during The Pussycat Dolls. I have a lot of fans and I never wanted to come out about it, because I was ashamed. But once I finally did come out about it, I realised how many people it had helped," she added.
Now Nicole is in a place where she feels more body confident and proud of her figure. She is also a strong advocate of working out, and credits gym-going for helping both her mental and physical health.
"You should embrace and accept yourself more. Don't be so hard on yourself, and love your curves," she smiled, before adding: "Every woman has good and bad days. Mrs O (Sharon Osbourne, Nicole's fellow The X Factor judge) and I were joking the other day that sometimes we wake up in a puddle of cookies and crisps!
"But what really helps me is working out. Even if it's not for very long, (I love) to get a sweat on to keep me focused and positive."