Since age 2, Karina Smirnoff has always been an avid dancer, most recently known for her role as veteran ballroom pro on Dancing With the Stars.
The five-time U.S. National champ has always been on the stage and in the spotlight, but that spotlight is exactly what forced Karina to battle body insecurities that eventually morphed into anorexia.
In Touch recently caught up with Karina, who opened up about her dark past.
“I was always trying to be in a certain weight class and in a certain shape,” the star admits. “When I turned professional there was a period of time where I literally just drank water for two weeks. I might've had a certain degree of anorexia because I literally wouldn't eat anything.”
So what made Karina realize she was headed down a dangerous and unhealthy road?
“I was about to do a competition and my body started reacting in a way that I had never experienced. [It] started having spasms but I have nothing inside,” she admits.
The fit 34-year-old now knows that there are much safer ways to stay in shape than by depriving yourself of food. She also stresses the importance of teaching younger generations that there are better ways to be fit than to go to extremes.
“There are so many ways to be fit and in great shape without doing damage to your body,” Karina shares. “I do try to eat as healthy as I can because if I don't, my digestion and metabolism doesn't work the best way it can.”
To see Karina in action, tune in to Dancing With the Stars, airing Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 pm on ABC.