Kelsea Ballerini gets candid about her past health struggles.
The country singer, 28, revealed in a new interview that she struggled with an eating disorder when she was younger and that her parents’ split attributed to it.
“My parents had just gotten divorced, and I think for me, it was a source of control,” Ballerini said.
The “Miss Me More” hitmaker mentioned her eating disorder in her poem entitled “Kangaroo.”
“A boy named Jackson called me ‘kangaroo’ when I was a freshman in high school … he explained this new nickname because of my belly and little legs,” she wrote.
According to People, Ballerini revealed she battled bulimia, took diet pills, and worked out excessively. But her eating habits got way out of control when she passed out “several” times at 18.
“It’s a journey, and it’s never-ending,” Ballerini said of her relationship with her body.
The singer is in a better place now, as she learned how to love her body, but sometimes, being famous can make it difficult.
“I saw an article pop up, and it said, ‘Ballerini debuts baby bump,'” the musician recalled. “I reverted back to that 12-year-old version of me but thought: Either you’re going to get triggered by this all the time, or you’re going to get to a point where you’re okay enough to look past it.”
Lately, Ballerini has been gentler with herself.
“I’m in a much healthier spot, and I’m much more gentle with how I talk to myself and my body,” the singer stated, adding that she still feels insecure with her body from time to time.
She said, “There are still days where I revert back to being that 12-year-old, and I have to catch myself, and hold myself accountable to the work I’ve done.”
Ballerini also explained why she works out and eats “salad,” saying that she does it all for her health.
“I don’t work out to get skinny, I work out to be healthy,” she said. “I don’t eat a salad to be skinny, I eat a salad to be healthy. I’ve re-calibrated what it means to me to just look in the mirror and just be like, ‘Man, I’m healthy. I’m strong. I have good breath support to do my job well.’ Those are things that matter to me now, rather than: ‘I look skinny in a dress.'”
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In her poetry book, Ballerini also detailed the time she witnessed a shooting incident, which caused her emotional trauma. In 2008, the “hole in the bottle” songstress saw her classmate Ryan McDonald get shot by another classmate at Knoxville’s Central High School.
Ballerini cried when she opened up to CBS News Journalist Anthony Mason about her poem, “His Name Was Ryan.”
“With this particular situation, I’ve never talked about it before, but as the book was forming, I was realizing that…if I’m gonna talk about the things that have made me ‘me,’ I certainly can’t avoid this,” she said.