Candace Cameron Bure said competing on season 18 of "Dancing With the Stars" has been grueling physically, but uplifting emotionally and spiritually. In a People.com blog post Monday, Bure said the intense dance training has made her more confident by helping her confronting her insecurities.
"['Dancing With the Stars'] has brought out insecurities I never realized were so strong, a better understanding of just how much I care about what others think of me," Cameron Bure wrote.
"[The experience has also given me] a newfound freedom to embrace being a confident, beautiful and sexy woman without being fearful or ashamed."
Battled Bulimia and Diet-Pill Addiction
Candace suffered from poor body image and the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia for years. In 2010, the former child star lost 22 pounds, slimming down to 110 pounds through portion control and regular exercise. Bure has maintained her weight loss since then by eating well and working out regularly.
While the mom of three is healthy now, she began dieting obsessively as a teen, suffered from the eating disorder bulimia, and experimented with diet pills. Candace detailed her bulimia and body-image struggles in her 2011 memoir, Reshaping It All:
When I was 16, I filmed an episode of 'Full House' where my family goes to Disney World. I remember putting on baggy overalls just to hide my stomach. When I watched it, I was pretty disappointed and bummed out looking at myself. I didn't feel good about my own body."
At her heaviest, the 5-foot-2 Candace weighed 132 pounds (not fat by any means, but she wanted to slim down even more).
Cameron Bure said she had a hard time adjusting to being a housewife and mom of three after "Full House" ended in 1995 and she began living in Canada with her husband, Russian-born NHL player Valeri Bure.
'Weightlifting Has Totally Changed My Body'
These days, Candace typically works out four to five days a week for an hour, combining cardio exercise and strength-training. "I lift heavy weights for about 25 minutes with 35 minutes of cardio on the treadmill or elliptical," she said.
"Lifting weights has changed my body tremendously and I'd never go without it again. It's leaned out my body and given me a muscular shape, unlike pure cardio, which most women feel more comfortable with or think that alone will help them lose more weight. It's not true. The combo of both is everything."
Cameron Bure has been receiving high marks for slowly coming out of her shell on "Dancing With the Stars," a trend she hopes will continue. Bure also said competing on the popular reality TV competition has helped her grow and learn a lot more about herself.
"I’m finding that my journey on 'DWTS 'is so much more than I ever expected," she said. "I'm learning more about myself than I ever imagined. This has become way more than a dance show or a competition."
Candace, a self-professed devout Christian, revealed her weight-loss secrets and how she juggles motherhood, marriage, and career in her new book, Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose.