Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is having fun training for season 17 of "Dancing With the Stars," but admits the grueling workouts have taken a toll on her.
Snooki, 25, looks thinner and fitter than ever after losing 50 pounds during the past year. The 4-foot-9 former "Jersey Shore" star slimmed down from 146 pounds to 96 pounds by following a 1,300-calorie-a-day diet.
Snooki, who's a fan of CrossFit, typically does a combination of weight-training and cardio exercise, both with a trainer and on her own.
While Polizzi is proud of how she looks, she's annoyed by criticism that she has gotten too skinny and looks emaciated and unhealthy. “People are jerks. I don’t look emaciated, I look healthy!” she said. "My arms still jiggle when I wave. I’m 4-foot-9, so weighing 96 pounds is normal for me."
Snooki, who gave birth to son Lorenzo in January 2013, continues to carefully watch her diet and hit the gym daily to maintain her weight loss. “People ask me why I’m still working out," she said. "I’ll gain the weight back if I don’t."
For now, Polizzi has had to put her daily gym workouts on hold while she trains for "Dancing With the Stars." She says the rigorous day-long dance workouts have made her physically and emotionally stronger.
"I came into this whole experience expecting it to be a fun walk in the park, but this experience is a true test of your character, stamina and how far you can push yourself," she said.
"I love that I am testing myself everyday on this journey, and learning more about my body and about myself. It's only been the first week and I'm absolutely in love with everything."