Hilary Duff Opens Up About Her Previously “Horrifying” Eating Disorder and the Pressure to Be Skinny at 17

Hilary Duff has come a long way since her time on "Lizzie McGuire." The mom of three posed naked for a Women's Health US cover shoot back in May and, as expected, looks amazing. Yet, despite what people may think, Duff hasn't always felt "amazing" about her body. In fact, the "How I Met Your Father" actor opened up in her interview with Women's Health about the pressure she's felt to be "skinny."

"Because of my career path, I can't help but be like, 'I am on camera and actresses are skinny,'" she said. And with that pressure came a year-long eating disorder she battled at the age of 17. "It was horrifying," she said in the Women's Health interview.

She credits having kids as the reason she now has glowing body confidence — the kind of confidence that encouraged her to pose naked, proudly on display, on a magazine cover. (We love to see it.)

"I'm proud of my body," she said. "I'm proud that it's produced three children for me. 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."

Even for those who aren't in the limelight, it can feel unattainable to arrive at a sense of "peace" with your body and its appearance. And though Duff has struggled with body image in the past, she said that having Banks, her 3-year-old daughter with husband Matthew Koma, is one of the things that helped put her in a good place.

"I didn't even know if I was going to have the opportunity to have another child [after the divorce]. So, being a mom again, maybe. It was a whole mix of things — of being settled and realizing that I'm powerful and talented and smart. All mental things."

"I've gotten to a place of being peaceful with the changes my body has gone through."

As for how the 34-year-old celeb focuses on the "mental things" — it starts with her workout routine. She hired trainer Dominic Leeder who created a workout plan that emphasized strength and stability to "concentrate on lean muscle mass." When she's not doing one of the hour-long workouts Leeder built for her, Duff spends her time hiking or playing tennis.

"I slept better, I felt better," she confirmed.

But, as we know, self-care and prioritizing your mental health goes above and beyond workouts. As a means to recharge, Duff said she takes pleasure in changing into PJs at night, watching shows with husband Koma, crocheting, and reading — all before falling asleep.

She's also actively in therapy — something she's explained to her 10-year-old son, Luca. "He was like, 'I don't need a therapist!' I said, 'No, no, no, I didn't say you need a therapist. But I love my therapist, and I always feel better when I leave because I can say whatever I want and not feel judged.' Everybody needs that," Duff said.

As for what's next: Duff will begin shooting new episodes of "How I Met Your Father" come June, but if you want to catch up on season one first, you can do that here on Hulu.

Though Duff will have a busier schedule coming up, she remains committed to focusing on herself — and, most importantly, her mental health: "We bust our ass to get our bodies in shape and to look the best we can. We get facials and Botox and our hair done and highlights and brows and lash lifts and all this shit. But I want to work on the inside. That's the most important part of the system."