'You Struggle Giving It Up', Says Alexa PenaVega On Her 6-Year Battle With Bulimia
It was on Monday night that Alexa PenaVega got two perfect scores. Yet, she was eliminated from the show, and had to go home. She will now no longer be dancing, yet she hopes that her story will be remembered forever, according to HNGN.
The former 'Spy Kids' star recalled her childhood struggle with bulimia, and shared some of the "most emotional years of her life" with the world.
She began her fight with bulimia when a movie producer told her bluntly that she was "too fat". But it is only now, at 27 years old, that she feels she has recovered. Yet it remains emotionally stuck inside her, and is able to share the story through "DWTS".
"This is something that I was so afraid to talk about before, but this show has given me so much confidence. I went through a big battle, and all I wanted to do was move and inspire people and show them that bulimia is something that you can get over," Alexa said following her elimination. "That's really all I wanted tonight. I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my time in the competition."
She said that an eating disorder can take a big toll on a person's health, which no one can understand or appreciate. "The one thing that I had always wanted was for someone to be real with me about the whole situation," PenaVega told People after Monday's show. "You read textbooks, and it's just so, well, textbook. 'This is how you get over bulimia.' But it is so much deeper than that. I wish I'd had somebody who could have told me, 'It's scary.' You struggle giving it up. You want to get rid of it, but you struggle because, in a strange way, you enjoy it."
"I never wanted people to associate me with this problem, and I feel like that's the biggest fear you have with trying to overcome that," she told Entertainment Tonight. "I don't want anybody to associate me with an eating disorder or bulimia in any way. So finally just being able to let it go and say, 'You know what, I know who I am and I've gotten past this and I'm proud of myself.' For me, I'm just like, 'Let the world know.' Because I wish I had somebody to be real with me who was just so open about it."
Two men who stuck by her were her dancing partner Mark Ballas and her husband Carlos PenaVega She said she was extremely grateful that she had them by her at the time.
"Tonight you were strong, bold, courageous, beautiful, passionate, vulnerable and most importantly CONFIDENT," Ballas captioned a photo of them. "I wish we could have taken it all the way to the end, but what a way to go out tonight with 60/60 and with a dance that can truly help people and inspire people. If we helped one person tonight mission accomplished. Tonight was biggest than dancing on a television show, tonight was about love, life, and helping people who are struggling and in need, to me that's bigger than any mirror ball or championship."