During last night's emotional episode of Dancing With The Stars, finalist Ginger Zee revealed her battle with anorexia as a young girl.
The ABC meteorologist opened up about choosing not to eat after her parents' divorce when she was just seven years old.
The 35-year-old beauty shared:
"We were moving, I had to make new friends … and I needed to control something, so I was like, 'I know what I'll do—I'll just not eat.' [Ages] ten to 14 was the bulk of my anorexia. I don't think I even knew how bad it was at that time. I'm so angry that that's the way I decided to cope. It's going to be with me my entire life. I'm always going to have body shaming issues but I think I've now grown into enough of a woman and a mature person that I realize life's a lot bigger than that."
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Talking to press after the show, Miz Zee said:
"It's a moment in my life that I've not shared with a lot of people. It's not something I'm proud of because it's a disease that I chose."
But she finds courage in knowing her story could potentially help others:
"I know a lot of people suffer from it and I hope that this will get the conversation going in the family."
In fact, Zee credits the support of her own family for helping her recover from the disease. In addition to therapy, the TV personality's mother took her to an in-patient treatment center to show her the dangers of anorexia:
"It was to scare me, basically. There were girls who were on their way to death. 'That one will die tomorrow,' she'd say. It was shocking and it didn't make me better right away but I knew I had the great support of my family and the fear factor was there."
The new mom's stepfather also played a huge role:
"My step-father is a saint. He came into our lives and he taught me about nutrition and self love and once I started to learn about taking calories in and working calories off, then I got obsessed with working out. Everybody goes through those stages. He helped me to get out of that moment in my life."
As far as advice she'd give to her teenage self, Zee offered:
"Just realize that there is such a bright life ahead and you don't have to torture yourself. You can beat this."
We appreciate Ginger's openness to share her powerful story.
Best of luck next week in the DWTS finals!!!
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: dancing with the stars, ginger zee, health, mental health