Exclusive: Whitney Cummings Opens Up About Her Struggles (and Triumphs) With Body Image

In case you haven't looked at the Internet in the past week, Whitney Cummings appeared on the Today show, and everyone is buzzing about it. She discussed her recent choice to gain weight, a statement that spread like wildfire across media sites.

We spoke to Whitney about her journey to body positivity. The actress, writer, and comedian got candid about her path to becoming the happiest version of herself after a struggle with her body image. Find out what she had to say about her life up until now, then go check out her stand-up — not only is she so hilarious it makes your stomach hurt, but she's also an incredibly smart and friendly person.

Struggling With Body Image

"I think a lot of girls pretend they don't work out and pretend they eat whatever they want. I am really honest about what I do. I'm glad I am talking to you because I am happy to extrapolate on that — I had, what I can honestly say now, is like an eating disorder in my 20s. I was so thin, I worked out all the time, and I had no real relationship with my body. It was a very adversarial relationship. I always thought I had to be really thin in Hollywood. When you're in LA, you're around all these people that are so skinny. It didn't occur to me that I was allowed to deviate from a standard of beauty that is in magazines and really everywhere.

"I used to have a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and chicken and vegetables for dinner. That just became normal. Then I started to work on myself by going to therapy and working on my self-esteem. Then I realized that I didn't need to be a size 2 — who am I doing this for? Guys don't even like this, I am not doing this for guys. Men are into Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, they like some ass. "

Making Life Changes

"I think a lot of it had to do with the standard of beauty and the pressure of perfectionism that I developed. I started to feel guilty because I felt like I was a bad role model. I do have a job where a lot of young girls see me. It was two things — I wanted to be healthier and happier, but I also want to be a good role model.

"Here's the funny thing, I'm still thin. Which means I was way too thin before. I still eat healthy and take really good care of myself, I just look and feel better. Before I didn't have as much energy. I don't want to be on my death bed looking back and remembering that I spent three hours of every day thinking about food and working out. Life is just too short."

Loving Herself Now

"It's really hard to talk about, and I felt a lot of shame about it. I think women don't want to admit to any weakness or flaws, we all just want to be naturally perfect. But perfection is bullsh*t. I want to be honest and truthful about my past and what I wished I would have done different. And I want to share my triumph, I came out the other side and now I love my body more than ever. Guess what? Guys love it more than ever too."

If you want to see Whitney in person, make sure to check her out at the all-female stand-up series Lipshtick held at The Venetian in Las Vegas — tickets are available now online or by calling The Venetian's box office at 702-414-9000.