In her poetry collection, Feel Your Way Through, country singer Kelsea Ballerini candidly discusses her battle with bulimia.
Kelsea Ballerini is being up about her traumatic past.
The country singer admits that during her adolescent years, she battled an eating issue in her new poetry collection Feel Your Way Through.
Difficulties Faced by Kelsea Due to Bulimia
In the issue of PEOPLE, Ballerini,29, talks about her eating illness and how it started when her parents had recently separated. “I guess for me, it was a form of control,” she adds.
“A kid named Jackson dubbed me ‘kangaroo’ when I was a freshman in high school,” writes Ballerini in the poem “Kangaroo,” “and he explained this new moniker because of my tummy and tiny legs.” Ballerini continues by revealing that she struggled with bulimia, used diet pills, and exercised excessively until she sought treatment at the age of 18 after collapsing “many” times.
In her relationship with her body, Ballerini tells PEOPLE that it is a journey that never ends.
Even while she knows how to handle her body-image problems, being in the limelight might occasionally make things worse.
“I saw an item show up and it stated, ‘Ballerini debuts baby bump,'” she explains, referring to an appearance on Today in 2015. I went back to my 12-year-old self, but then I reasoned: “Either you’re going to get triggered by this constantly, or you’re going to get to a place where you’re okay enough to look past it.”
Ballerini Is Feeling Better Right Now
I’m a lot healthier now, and I communicate to my body and myself much more gently, she claims. There are still times when I act like that 12-year-old again, and I have to check myself and take responsibility for the work I’ve done.
Ballerini admits that in order to reach her current state of health, she had to relearn some mental habits.
“I exercise so that I may be healthy, not so that I can lose weight. I eat a salad to stay healthy, not to lose weight “she claims. “I’ve re-calibrated what it means to me to simply look in the mirror and just be like, ‘Man, I’m healthy. I’m powerful. I have strong breath support to perform my duties well. Instead of thinking, “I look slender in a dress,” they are the things that matter to me right now.”
It took the singer several years to feel comfortable talking about her compulsive eating before she just won her first two CMA awards.
I’ve always come across as a really upbeat, sparkling person, but there’s more, she claims. It took some time for me to feel brave and self-assured enough to disclose who I really am.
Ballerini Shared Her Experience to Make Others Feel Less Alone
She is now hoping that by sharing her experience, others may feel less alone.
Ballerini asserts that when you are able to talk about things, you either feel ashamed about it and keep it concealed or you will air it out, be vulnerable, connect with people, take the sting out of it, and recover together. “And I genuinely believe that, at this moment in my life, it is the preferable choice for me. Because of this, I share a few of my dark secrets in this book.”
Ballerini has long served as a symbol of body acceptance. After she gave a performance at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2018, a troll advised her to “drop some weight,” and she responded by calling him out.
“Listen. I should clarify that I am a singer and not a model. Second of all, I’m not responding to this to draw attention to you because you don’t deserve it; rather, I’m responding because I take pride in being a healthy, normal girl—something I work hard to achieve—and I want other young girls to see that and understand that being “skinny” is not always the ideal “On Instagram, she posted. And it’s awful that you consider it OK to make remarks about my size or weight.
She stated to PEOPLE at the time: “I’m fortunate to be both healthy and content. Simply put, I dislike it when others make comments about how my body looks and functions. I compose music for the hearing, not for the sight, as Adele so eloquently put it.”
Please call the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or visit NationalEatingDisorders.org if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder.