Cheryl Burke hit back at critics who suggested that her recent 15-pound weight loss was extreme, and insisted she is not suffering from anorexia or other eating disorder.
"I’m not caving in to the pressures of Hollywood, as some of you have expressed, and I’m certainly not starving myself," Burke wrote on Facebook.
Cheryl credited a low-carb, high-protein diet and 90-minute circuit-training workouts for her stunning weight loss, and said she's doing great. "I’m thriving," said the Dancing With the Stars pro. "I’m putting healthy foods into my body and experiencing the benefits.
"I have tried so many fad diets, I’ve wasted so much time looking for a solution when it was right in front of me all along – take care of yourself, nourish your body, surround yourself with good people – you will feel good and will shine in all that you do.
It’s not about chasing a number on the scale, and it’s not about Hollywood. My weight fluctuates, just like any other person’s does, and there will always be critics. You’ve got to tune out the other people and tune in to what’s going on inside. Love yourself. Nourish your body."
The 5-foot-4 Cheryl slimmed down from 135 pounds to 120 pounds. Burke, who endured cruel media fat-shaming after gaining weight in 2008, said intense fat-burning circuit-training workouts with her trainer, Brendan Johnston, made a huge difference in her body.
Burke, 30, told People she has to work out harder now than she did when she was in her 20s because her metabolism has slowed down a bit. Her diet staples now include Greek yogurt, berries and lean meats, and her daily low-carb meal plan looks like this:
- Breakfast. Turkey bacon and egg whites.
- Lunch. Cobb salad with turkey bacon and no cheese.
- Dinner. Lentil soup or salad with lentils, peppers and corn salad.
'I Was Molested at Age 5 and Abused By My Boyfriends'
As a star on a hit TV show, Burke's life appears ideal on the outside, but she revealed she was molested by a family friend from the age of five and was later physically abused by two ex-boyfriends.
Cheryl, who testified against her molester and helped send him to jail for almost 20 years, says her parents' divorce when she was a baby gave her mixed feelings toward her abuser, a retired mailman who was well liked in her neighborhood.
Burke eventually helped put the molester behind bars after other children came forward and accused him of sexual abuse. Burke said it took years of therapy to heal from the sexual and emotional abuse, and hoped her coming forward will let other victims know they are not alone. Cheryl revealed her harrowing experiences in her memoir, Dancing Lessons.