Rebel Wilson Reveals the 'Emotional War' She Felt Being 'a Proud Fat Female' Who Was 'Ashamed of My Eating Behaviors' (Exclusive)

“I wasn't hating myself, I was only hating those shameful behaviors,” the actress and comedian tells PEOPLE of being an “emotional eater”

<p>Cliff Watts</p> Rebel Wilson

Cliff Watts

Rebel Wilson

Rebel Wilson is detailing the “emotional war” she went through over her weight.

In an interview and exclusive photo shoot with PEOPLE before the release of her book Rebel Rising: A Memoir, the actress, 44, opened up about her weight loss journey. She recalls experiencing a mental tug-of-war because she was “a proud fat female” while also being “ashamed of my eating behaviors.”

“I think to many people I'm a beacon of body positivity because I see people who are considered medically obese if you look at their weight, but I think they are absolutely beautiful,” she tells PEOPLE. “I really think beauty is at any shape and size so I do really promote that.

“So people are like, ‘Well, how can you be so body-positive and then be hating yourself?’ But I wasn't hating myself, I was only hating those shameful behaviors,” she explains. “For example, eating a whole tub of ice cream every night and then feeling bad about myself, making myself get up early in the morning and go to the gym for an hour and a half and running on that treadmill until sometimes my back would hurt.”

<p><a href="" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Cliff Watts</a></p> Rebel Wilson

Cliff Watts

Rebel Wilson

Related: Rebel Wilson Says She 'Got More Attention for Weight Loss Than Any Movie' She’d Ever Done: 'People Are Intrigued' (Exclusive)

Wilson says that cycle continued until she understood the emotional roots of her behavior. The Pitch Perfect alum describes herself as an “emotional eater” and says it took time for her to change her lifestyle, with the help of therapy.

“I would be hard on myself,” she admits. “I'm like, ‘How can I be a person who excels in so many things, and gets two university degrees, and can make millions of dollars, and can start from nothing and then create this huge career, but I couldn't lose weight?’ I would always beat myself up about that and go, ‘What's wrong with me?’”

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<p>Simon & Schuster</p> Rebel Wilson's new book, Rebel Rising: A Memoir

Simon & Schuster

Rebel Wilson's new book, Rebel Rising: A Memoir

Related: Rebel Wilson Says She’s Been 'Stress Eating,' Put on 20 Lbs. Ahead of Her Book Release: 'I Felt Like I Needed Protection' (Exclusive)

Wilson was finally able to achieve her significant weight loss during the pandemic after committing to a “year of health.”

She tells PEOPLE that the accomplishment inspired her to share her journey in her memoir, which releases April 2.

“People often out there think that there's some magic pill, or some sick special diet, or exercise regime or whatever,” the comedian explains.

Wilson wants her book “to give people the message, if they're like me and an emotional eater, that it's not about that stuff. It's literally about working at a healthier way to deal with your emotions, and there is no magic solution. Maybe me telling my story might encourage them to do the same and make healthy change in their lives."

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Read the original article on People.