The star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life needs a restart after fainting from exertion

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated June 15, 2016 08:50 AM
Credit: TLC

Whitney Way Thore is starting to see the effects of her unhealthy habits.

After passing out at a dance marathon from exertion, Thore gets a lecture from a doctor about her current lifestyle in this exclusive clip from Wednesday’s episode of My Big Fat Fabulous Life.

I was really scared, and one part of me was like, ‘Well, people faint, it’s probably not a big deal,’ but on the other hand it was scary because it’s never happened to me and I have no experience with it,” Thore tells PEOPLE. “I’ve never been in the hospital for anything.”

“I was definitely anxious and concerned when the doctor told me that my heart rate was straying a little bit high and I should see a cardiologist. I think for anybody that’s scary.”

The doctor emphasized to Thore that while she’ll fully recover now, if she drives herself to exertion again it could lead to harsher consequences – even death.

“I do personally want to be healthy, I want to be around for a long time, I have a lot of things planned for my future, so obviously I’m going to take seriously what a doctor tells me and how they advise me,” Thore says.

But she adds that she doesn’t think it’s a question of fat versus thin – it’s solely a question of health.

“I think it’s easy to look at a fat person who passes out and make a bigger deal out of it than you would make if a thin person passes out,” Thore says. “I think that all fat people and all thin people can have their own health problems and they should take the same kind of precautions for their health.”

Still, the incident helped Thore see that she wasn’t living her healthiest life, regardless of size.

“I lost 100 lbs. in eight months back in 2011, and from the outside, because of what we believe that losing weight is healthier and better, everyone told me how amazing I was, how strong I was, and it really wasn’t the case. I was struggling from an eating disorder and depression. I know that I wasn’t healthy then,” she says.

RELATED VIDEO: What Surprised ‘My Big Fat Fabulous Life’ Star Whitney Thore the Most about Discussing Her Weight with Strangers?

“This made me see that I should have some more healthy habits. I should eat regularly and nutritiously, I should exercise everyday, I should get enough sleep, I shouldn’t burn the candle at both ends.”

And this time, instead of trying to crash diet to lose weight, Thore is just going to work on living better.

“I will never embark on a specifically weight loss journey at any cost,” she says. That’s not to say I won’t drop weight, it may happen without me even trying. I certainly don’t actively try to stay fat, it just happens!”

“I need to have healthy habits. And if I can have those things without focusing on losing pounds, then that’s what’s important to me.”

TLC s My Big Fat Fabulous Life airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c.