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Nicole Scherzinger on 10-year bulimia battle: 'Hurting myself was my addiction'

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Singer Nicole Scherzinger is healthy and well these days after overcoming a harrowing 10-year battle with the eating disorder bulimia. Scherzinger, the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls, said she empathizes with people who struggle with inner demons because she has battled them herself.

"[Bulimia] is such a horrible paralyzing disease and it was such a dark time for me," Scherzinger told Cosmo UK. "That’s why I can empathize so much with people who have demons and voices in their heads, who aren’t nice to themselves. I felt so alone."

Nicole said she binge-ate and vomited every day for almost 10 years, which heightened her poor self-esteem and insecurities. “I did it every day for years,” she told VH1. “Every time I had a second to be alone, I was doing [bingeing and purging]. You get blisters or scars on your hands, and I’d try to hide those. My bulimia was my addiction. Hurting myself was my addiction."

Childhood Insecurities Fueled Eating Disorder

Scherzinger was the lead singer of the pop-girl group the Pussycat Dolls for seven years (2003-2008 and 2009-2010), but never shared her bulimia struggle with her band mates or family.

She said she began binge-eating and purging every day after she was told to lose weight when she first joined the band. The bulimia lasted for about a decade, but Nicole eventually overcame it through lots of therapy.

Scherzinger said the fear of damaging her voice was a turning point. "I had started losing my voice, I couldn’t sing at shows, and then I remember my manager finding me passed out on the floor in Malta or in the south of France," she recounted. "I thought, ‘I’m going to lose everything I love if I don’t love myself.’ It’s sad to see how I wasted my life."

Despite her stunning exotic beauty, Nicole said part of her insecurities stemmed from growing up a dark-skinned Polynesian in the homogeneous Midwest, where she often felt out of place and "less than" because of her mixed-race background.

Nicole Doesn't Follow Low-Carb Diet

Now stronger mentally and emotionally, Scherzinger follows a healthy diet and stays in shape with regular exercise, including lots of circuit-training and 30-to-45-minute runs twice a week.

While celebrities like Kim Kardashian (who credits a ketogenic Atkins diet for her 56-pound weight loss) follow low-carb diets, Nicole eats plenty of healthy carbs.

"I don't avoid carbs," she said. "I've been on every single kind of diet in the world and none of them work. Eventually your body wants carbs, so when you have them it sticks to you because it's not used to carbs. That's how it was for me. Eat the carbs at breakfast and lunch but not at dinner. Be a little more conscious of that."

Nicole, whom radio shock jock Howard Stern called "the most aesthetically beautiful woman on the planet," generally sticks to healthy fare and never skips meals.

Looking back on her bulimia struggle, Scherzinger said she learned some valuable lessons on self-esteem and emotional resilience. "I had such a great life on the outside, the Dolls were on top of the world but I was miserable on the inside," she said. "I’m never letting that happen again; you only get one life."

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