Jewel may be sporting a toned physique these days, but when she first burst on to the scene, she was labeled the "chubby Renee Zellweger," something the singer said crushed her spirits.
"My feelings were so hurt by that story, I ended up bingeing on an entire cake," the 35-year-old told the July 2010 issue of Shape magazine, on the cover of which she appears in a bikini, looking better than ever.
Bingeing led to something else – an attempt at purging, followed by a major realization.
"Afterward, I actually tried to throw it all up, but thankfully I couldn't do it. It made me think, 'I can't go down this road,'" she told the mag. "I had seen so many performers develop eating disorders or try to control their weight with drugs, and I decided I would do no harm to my body."
While she realized what she was doing, Jewel couldn't entirely stop the food train.
"It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The worse I felt about myself, the more I overate," she added.
So how did Jewel turn things around? She realized abstaining from cravings didn't do her any good.
"I try to stay away from an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to food," she told the mag. "It's like a pendulum: The more extreme I am — like saying, 'I'm not going to eat any carbs'— the further it's going to swing to the other side and I'm going to binge."
Jewel said sometimes it's hard to eat well, especially considering that her husband, rodeo champ Ty Muray eats whatever he wants, but she manages.
"I'm living proof that even if your spouse isn't into your way of eating, you can still be successful at it!"
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