Madelyn Cline is opening up about her past struggles with disordered eating and overexercising.
The Outer Banks star, 22, said that her body image issues started when she was a teenager.
"I think I was around 16 when I started working out a lot," she told Women’s Health in a video for their “Body Scan” series. "I would wake up every morning at 5 a.m. and I would work out for 30 minutes. It was super rigorous cardio every day."
When Cline became frustrated that working out was “not achieving this body shape that I want,” she “started cutting calories.”
“It would be the kind of thing where I would eat six almonds for breakfast, because I didn’t want to counteract the cardio I just did,” she said. "It turned into not feeding myself protein and not feeding my body what it needed when I was working out so much.”
Cline said that along with her early morning cardio workouts, she was also dancing and weightlifting.
“I worked out multiple times during the day,” she said. “All I knew was I wasn't achieving a particular body image, and so I was angry. I was harming myself and starving myself in the process of trying to achieve that."
“That’s an awful place to be, especially as a teenager, when you’re idolizing a certain body type and you can’t achieve it,” she continued. “There’s nothing wrong with that, you’re just not built that way, and that’s okay. That’s perfectly fine.”
The Netflix star said that her mom noticed that she was struggling and helped her recover from her eating and exercise disorders.
"My mom was a wonderful help in that. She would stand there in the mirror with me and we would list out things that I liked about my body," Cline said. "After that repetition those things became solidified in my mind. I like my curves, I like my hips, and after a while I started to love my body. I became so much happier."
And these days, Cline frequently gets a boost of confidence from her boyfriend and Outer Banks costar Chase Stokes.
"He is really, really wonderful at the quality time and those verbal affirmations," she said. "It's those little things when your person says, 'You look beautiful today,' and you're not wearing any makeup or you don't feel at your best, or you’re just feeling meh and maybe your mental health is not that great that day, and that person looks at you and you says like, ‘I love the way you think,’ or ‘I love the way you treat people.’ For me, it’s less about physicality and it’s more about that mental connection with that person."
Cline and Stokes, along with their costars Madison Bailey, Jonathan Daviss and Rudy Pankow, are currently filming season 2 of the hit show in Charleston, South Carolina. Bailey recently told PEOPLE that the cast was not at all surprised that Cline and Stokes ended up dating off-screen.
"They're precious, truly, it makes perfect sense," Bailey said of the couple. "They're one and the same."
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