Christian actress Candace Cameron-Bure has opened up about the importance of instilling a positive body image in children, as eating disorders are far too common across the United States.
During a recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, the 40-year-old "Fuller House" actress, who has three children - Natasha, 18, son Lev, 16, and son Maksim, 14 - shared how she makes body positivity a priority in her home, quoting Psalm 139:14.
"As a mom, I'm always telling my children, 'Love who you are,'" she said. "'You are beautifully and wonderfully made. You are unique and there is no one like you. Embrace it and love it.'"
However, Bure, who is also a co-host on "The View," said she tells her children that if they begin to struggle with eating disorders, it's okay to ask for help.
"If there is a point of struggle in your life, the first step is to tell someone," she said. "I think that's the hardest thing to do, and once you share it and get it out there, then you can look for ways to recover."
Bure is passionate about raising awareness regarding eating disorders, as she struggled with bulimia and unhealthy eating patterns for several years as a young woman.
"It became a very destructive relationship, and it was one that really caught me off guard," she said said during the #EatingRecoveryDay panel in NYC in May. "I got into a cycle of binge eating and feeling such guilt and shame for that, that I would start purging. And without even knowing, it soon just took over to a point where you feel such a loss of control."
Thankfully, she sought help, and learned how to rebuild her relationship with food: "I've had to learn to view food as my fuel and something I can enjoy, and do enjoy and am allowed to enjoy in moderation," she told Dr. Oz. "I can no longer look at food as my source of comfort because that's what I was doing. I would feed my emotions with food."
Today, Bure frequently shares workout videos and health tips on her social media pages to promote a healthy lifestyle. In 2014, she even enjoyed a stint on the physically-demanding reality show Dancing with the Stars: "I keep a fairly strict diet," she said. "My job depends on it."
The actress also said that by sharing her story, she hopes to educate people about eating disorders and remove some of the stigmas surrounding them.
"I think that there are so many misconceptions about eating disorders," she said. "I think a lot of people look at them as a young teenage girl's disease and they're not. It affects 30 million Americans, and it doesn't discriminate against men, women, age, race, color, nationality."