The actress and singer decided to speak publicly about her disorder during the show to rebuke costar Stassi Schroeder, who accused her of being anorexic during the season. Shay said Schroeder’s comments were hurtful as a survivor.
“I was 20 years old. I was going to be moving out to Hollywood. I wanted to be an actress. Thin was in 11 years ago,” Shay, 31, explained on Bravo’s The Daily Dish podcast two days after the reunion show. “Kim Kardashian was not a thing. It wasn’t cool to have a big butt.”
To slim down, Shay focused on food.
“For me, I was like, ‘I don’t want to work out, so the only way I know how to get skinny is to stop eating,’ ” she says. “I remember stepping on the scale the day of my college graduation, and I was like 102. I was like, ‘Yes, I’m almost under 100.’ I was proud of myself.”
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Shay started to eat again when her friends grew concerned, commenting on her lost curves, but took laxatives to keep her weight down.
“I was doing any quick fix to get the weight off,” she says.
And during her mid-twenties, from age 23-26, she gained about 20 lbs. of what she calls “alcohol weight.”
“I drank beer, wine, Champagne, Fireball, Jameson, everything with sugar, on a regular basis.”
She eventually fully recovered, and now, five years later, she has a healthy relationship with food, eating, “whatever I want, whenever I want, and I work out, so I’m able to keep it off.”
Shay said in November that she dealt with body shaming for showing visible back fat in her two-piece wedding dress from her 2014 marriage to her now ex-husband Michael Shay, and the experience, plus her 30th birthday, pushed her to lose 25 lbs.
“I turned 30 last year, and not that I care what other people think, but for my own health at my age, I’m like, I need to get in shape,” she said.
The Hydroxycut spokeswoman was initially criticized by fans who thought she dropped the pounds with the weight loss supplement, but later clarified that she had followed a meal plan and worked with a trainer.