Hilary Duff Opens up About 'Horrifying' Eating Disorder She Suffered at 17

Hilary Duff shared details of a year-long eating disorder she faced when she was 17. It inspired her to focus on getting stronger and, today she is proud of her body. Duff called the experience at 17 "horrifying."

"Because of my career path, I can't help but be like, 'I am on camera and actresses are skinny,'" the How I Met Your Father star told Women's Health earlier this year. "It was horrifying." Duff posed in the nude for the magazine and said it was a deliberate choice to show how proud she is now.

"I'm proud of my body. I'm proud that it's produced three children for me," Duff explained. "I've gotten to a place of being peaceful with the changes my body has gone through. I also want people to know a makeup artist was there putting glow all over my body and someone put me in the most flattering position."

In a new profile for Women's Health Australia, Duff further explained how she is focusing on activities that make her feel strong instead of just helping her appearance. "[I'm] appreciating my health, doing activities that make me feel strong instead of just bettering the outside of my body," Duff, who wore a blue bathing suit for the magazine's cover shoot, said. "Spending time with people that make me feel good and share similar views on health and body positivity and getting enough sleep and balance in my diet."

Duff's personal trainer, Dominic Leeder, shared how she has helped Duff reach the best shape of her life and maintain it. First, Leeder advised against setting unrealistic goals. "Reaching your fitness goals is more of a marathon than it is a sprint," Leeder said. "And making it a marathon means that my main focus for my clients is to not just to reach their goal but to keep their goal. And doing it quickly often doesn't allow them to keep it."

Leeder and Duff also chose to focus on resistance training instead of cardio. They wanted to build "lean muscle mass and up her metabolism," Leeder explained. She added that people should not suddenly cut carbs. "Complex carbs, in my opinion, are imperative," Leeder said. "If you don't have carbs, your body will use other things for energy, like protein. And because of the way I work with resistance training, we want that protein to go to the lean muscle build to help their metabolism."

After Duff reached her goal, Leeder had a new assignment: helping Duff maintain what they achieved while she enjoyed life with her family. It was not easy to come up with a plan, and it became Duff's new goal. When they figure out the perfect work-life balance, it will be time for Duff and Leeder to set her new goals, Leeder told Women's Health Australia.

Duff shares daughters Banks, 4, and Mae, 1, with her husband, Matthew Koma. She also shares her son Luca, 10, with her ex-husband, Mike Comrie. She now stars in the How I Met Your Mother spinoff How I Met Your Father, which was released on Hulu earlier this year. She is now working on a second season.