Alexa PenaVega says she 'brutalized' her body during her eating disorder: 'I ended up being hospitalized for ulcers'

·2 min read
Alexa PenaVega shares that she was hospitalized after suffering from an eating disorder. (Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
Alexa PenaVega shares that she was hospitalized after suffering from an eating disorder. (Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Alexa PenaVega is talking about how her eating disorder led to health issues later in life.

The Spy Kids star, 33, is currently on tour promoting her new memoir What If Love Is the Point?, which she co-wrote with her husband Carlos. In a Thursday Instagram post, the Repo! The Genetic Opera star read an excerpt from her book, which detailed what happened when she stopped binging and purging.

“During that time, I was receiving only the smallest bits of nutrition,” she began. “I've been throwing up every meal I ate for five-ish years, and I brutalized my body so that it no longer could process food naturally. As a result, when I did make an effort to eat again, my body wasn't able to handle food. So two months after I stopped binging and purging, I ended up being hospitalized for ulcers, bloating and other digestive complications.”

The mom of three added that she went to “doctor after doctor” in order to figure out how to get her body to function properly again.

PenaVega also answered a follower’s question about healing from her eating disorder on her Instagram Story Friday.

“My body had to reset itself,” she said. “There was a lot of learning like I had to learn what foods were actually nutritious and honestly, that's been a huge journey. I'm still learning what foods are right for my body. But I would say yeah, the beginning of my recovery from my eating disorder was the hardest because I was reintroducing food for the first time and my body was not happy.”

PenaVega, who opened up about her history with an eating disorder while competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2015, recently spoke to Sadie Robertson on her podcast WHOA, That’s Good about struggling to discuss her struggles due to her concerns around the public’s perception of her. Robertson, who competed on Dancing With the Stars the year before PenaVega did, has publicly talked about her own battle with anorexia.

“My biggest fear was that anybody would find out that I had an eating disorder. Because in my head, I'm like, 'I'm still me, I still have my personality. I still have my heart,'" she explained. "But I was living with this secret that I was really, really ashamed of … I was being praised whenever I looked skinnier. And if I didn't look as skinny one day, nobody would compliment me or nobody would talk about how beautiful I was, or anything like that."

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

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