Nicole Scherzinger credits her boyfriend, Lewis Hamilton, for helping her overcome her eight-year battle with bulimia.
The ex-Pussycat Dolls singer opened up about her eating disorder for the first time ever during the October 7 episode of VH1's Behind the Music. According to Scherzinger, 34, it was Formula One racer Hamilton, 27, who "gave me the courage to kind of end that disorder and that disease. He made me feel beautiful for who I am and not what pant size I'm wearing and that helped a lot."
Scherzinger added, "A little light came on in the back of my head and that's when I started to try and turn this around. I said, 'Wow, I've got to learn how to accept myself and my body.' I started to embrace myself as a woman and my curves."
The pair have dated on-and-off since 2008. "We are both passionate," Hamilton said. "Together we've created a great bond."
Before coming clean to Hamilton about her private pain, Scherzinger tried to keep it a secret from her fellow Pussycat Dolls.
"I did it everyday for, like, years. Every time I had a second to be alone, I was doing something to myself," Scherzinger recalled. "You get, like, blisters on your hands or scars on your hands, and I'd try to hide those. I think the girls could tell." (Ex-bandmate Ashley Roberts, 31, admitted she and the other band members saw the scars on Scherzinger's knuckles from making herself vomit.)
"I guess it was like my addiction, right?" Scherzinger said of her battle with bulimia. "I never did drugs, but kinda doing things to myself was my addiction. It's like when I got off stage, I was on this high, and I'd come back to my room and I'd be alone, so I would just do things. My bulimia was my addiction; hurting myself was my addiction."
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Nicole Scherzinger: Boyfriend Lewis Hamilton Helped Me Love My Body