Strictly Come Dancing star Dianne Buswell has confessed she used to skip meals and exercise compulsively in a bid to have the ‘perfect’ body.
The 30-year-old professional dancer revealed she was rushed to hospital after falling ill under the pressures of looking her best for the dancefloor while touring the world with an Australian dance company.
Buswell told Happiful magazine: “I tried everything. Sometimes I did three shows a day and I’d go to the gym in between. I was exercising excessively, and cut out so many meals. If I [ended up] off that schedule, it would really throw me. It was an addiction, I guess.”
The Australian dancer - who is dating YouTube star Joe Sugg, 28, after meeting on the BBC show last year - admitted her weight plummeted and she became unwell.
Buswell said: “I literally went from this bright, bubbly person to a really low-energy Dianne, who’d wake up at one in the afternoon because I was so tired. It got to the point where I had no physical energy to do the show or other things.
“Anxiety came with it, because I didn’t feel well enough to perform, and had to every night. The anxiety stemmed from worrying whether I’d get through it. I was dancing the show thinking: ‘I don’t think I can do this.’ It was a very vicious circle.”
The Strictly star revealed when she flew home from the US at the end of the tour her mother was “beside herself” with worry and rushed her to the doctor; she was hospitalised with anaemia.
Buswell said: “I’ll never forget the moment I had the iron transfusion. The feeling was like no other. They pumped iron into me and after I went home, for the fun of it because I felt so good, I went for a run. I didn’t feel puffed, I didn’t feel ill, I just felt alive again. That was the best feeling.”
The dancer - who is partnered with Radio 1 DJ Dev Griffin for this year’s series - said that treatment was a turning point for her.
She added: “I realised I’d 100 per cent put my career on the line, and I never wanted to return to that state, ever.”