Instagram star Alexis Ren reveals she suffered from an eating disorder

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Social media are littered with images showing seemingly picture-perfect people, but one Instagram star whose glamorous lifestyle has amassed over 9.2 million followers is finally revealing her truth.

A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on Nov 17, 2016 at 9:02am PST

In an interview with Cosmopolitan.com, Alexis Ren, 20, revealed she suffered from an eating disorder for several years.

“I kind of was just like, ‘Im just going to be upfront with everyone,'” she told Cosmo. “I have nothing to hide.”

A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on May 15, 2017 at 10:46pm PDT

Ren explained that she began having trouble with food after her mothers death, and the loss was compounded when she entered the modeling industry, where her body was constantly scrutinized. Ultimately, she felt like she lost control of her life.

In her interview, Ren told Cosmo about a time when her modeling agency gently nudged her to lose weight.

Long or short?

A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on Mar 31, 2017 at 3:43pm PDT

They were like, ‘You did gain weight and if you could start working out a little bit more, Ren told Cosmo.

INSTAGRAMMER HAS POWERFUL MESSAGE FOR WOMEN STRUGGLING WITH POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE

So Ren did just that, and began restricting her caloric intake and exercising. Then she met and fell in love with  fellow model Jay Alvarrez. The pair became famous on YouTube as they documented their lives together, jet-setting to exotic beaches and hanging out on Manhattan apartment balconies.

But as Rens fan base grew, so did her sense of self-doubt.

“I was my worst critic ever, she told Cosmo. The only sense of relief I had was to be able to monitor my eating and my workouts. It was a vicious cycle where when I did eat, I just felt worse, so I didn’t want to eat, and ate less and less and less. I was scared of food.”

MODEL BARES ALL IN PHOTOSHOP-FREE CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE BODY CONFIDENCE

According to the Ntional Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.,about 30 million people in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, such as bulimia, anorexia and binge eating disorder. Every 62 minutes, at least one person dies from one.

A post shared by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on May 2, 2017 at 8:49am PDT

In restricting her eating and over-exercising to punish herself, Ren was not only putting her physical health at risk but also that of her mental well-being. She tied her self-identity to the responses shed receive on social media, she explained to the site, and in turn, she felt objectified for her physical features rather than valued for who she was a person.

I felt like my body was the only reason why people liked me, Ren told Cosmo.

Fortunately, she got help and has since recovered. Today, Ren has a healthy weight, she told the website, but shes speaking out to help empower other women to get help if they need it.

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It’s OK to not be OK, she said. It’s all about how you feel because your body will react to how you feel. Chemically, if you are not happy, your body will not look or be happy.”

Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today’s top celebrities and newsmakers.  You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.

Read more: www.foxnews.com

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