For Candace Cameron Bure, food used to be her best friend and her worst enemy. Now the Fuller House star and The View co-host is using her past negative experiences to help others recover from eating disorders.
The 40-year-old actress talked about her years-long battle with bulimia this week at a panel in New York for the Eating Recovery Center to mark the first ever Eating Recovery Day.
'I'm honored to be a spokesperson for it because I know how it affects someone firsthand," she told E! News. "This is my story to fans and the people who follow me and ask what they can do and where they can go. To be able to offer a place for people means the world to me."
"We all have to eat food and so, it's nothing something that we can just stop and eliminate from our lives and so, it is different from an alcohol addiction or drug addiction because those things, we don't have to partake in," she said. "But food, we have to eat, so we need to learn how to still be able to eat and make it a part of our lives, to live and be healthy but also deal with the mental illness aspect of it."
In her 2011 book Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness, Candace revealed she first battled bulimia at age 19 when she was living in Montreal and engaged to her husband, Russian hockey player Valeri Bure. The two wed in 1996 and share a daughter and two sons.
"I was nineteen, engaged and living with Val—as a good Christian girl ought not to do," she wrote in her book. Perhaps if I had been living and walking in faith, I wouldn't have started the cycle of binging and purging," she wrote."
She also recalled how she "did fit the role of DJ Tanner," who "once went on a crash diet herself." In a 1990 episode of Full House, Candace's character, DJ, starves herself after becoming self-conscious about her best friend Kimmy Gibbler's slimmer figure and passes out after over-exercising.
The actress says in her book her bulimia "had nothing to do with body image or trying to lose weight but had everything to do with adjustment and fear." She said that as a soon-to-be "hockey wife" in a "foreign city," she felt lonely at home while her fiancé played away games and filled that void with by binging on and purging food.
The actress wrote in her book that it was her father who discovered her eating disorder, which broke her heart.
"It was the first catalyst," Candace told E! News. "I still needed a little bit more help beyond that because I was so fearful of disappointing my parents that that's what ignited me to...admit that I had a problem with it. But I needed further help."
Candace said at the Eating Recovery Day panel that her eating disorder resurfaced, worse than ever, several years later. She has said she ultimately recovered with the help of friends, family and her faith in God.
Candace had written in her book that her brother and Growing Pains alum Kirk Cameron, a devout Christian, gave her a copy of Ray Comfort's evangelism book The Way of the Master, which inspired her.
Candace, who is also devout in her Christian faith, wrote she lost 25 pounds after Full House and added that she feels better than ever.