Dianne Buswell has said anxiety led her to question her future as a dancer.
The ballroom star has recently been asked to move in with YouTube sensation Joe Sugg after the pair began a relationship while partnered on the BBC show.
But Buswell suffered for her art before getting to grips with her body image and anxiety.
The dancer was conscious of her appearance, and believed having a better body would make her a better dancer.
Speaking to Happiful magazine, the Strictly star said excessive exercise and controlled eating led to health issues, and anxiety.
She said: “I literally went from this bright, bubbly person to a really low-energy Dianne.
“Energy has to come from somewhere, and I was getting none of it.
“Anxiety came with it, because I didn’t feel well enough to perform, and had to every night.
“The anxiety stemmed from worrying whether I’d get through it.
“I was dancing the show thinking: ‘I don’t think I can do this’. It was a very vicious circle.”
Buswell has said her mother’s worries led her to get checked by doctors, who noted that she had anaemia.
The star was given help for her deficiency, and realised that her drive for bodily perfection had actually threatened her career.
Buswell was runner-up with partner Sugg in the 2018 series of Strictly, and the pair have recently decided to move in together.