Peter Kraus won hearts on Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette thanks to their undeniable chemistry and adorable matching gap teeth — and his status as a hunky fitness instructor didn't hurt either. Turns out, his road to fitness and modeling wasn't always smooth, and he took to Instagram to reflect on the eleven years since he joined the industry, and more specifically reveal that he suffered from an eating disorder when he was first getting started.
"11 years ago I began a modeling career that took me all over the world," the post begins. "I called five different cities in three amazing countries home over a six year span. I met dozens of amazing people with whom I made life long friends and unforgettable memories. But what I am most thankful for from my 9 year career (2 years since retired), is my introduction to fitness."
"At the age of 20 I had developed an eating disorder while blindly attempting to keep up with the level of fitness of my fellow models and competitors," he continued. "For two years I struggled in silence, always trying but never knowing how to compete with my counterparts."
It wasn't until 2007 that he realized things needed to change.
"So I enrolled myself in the dietetics program at MATC and graduated with honors, my first PT job, and my first @ironmantri under my belt two years later," he said.
According to Kraus, hitting "rock bottom" allowed him to learn the right way to approach fitness, and changed both his career and his outlook on his body.
"Some times from the darkest places shines the brightest light," he concluded. We can't wait to see some of that positivity when he reportedly returns to Bachelor Nation for Winter Games this February.
Kraus is not the only Bachelor Nation contestant to open up about an eating disorder in recent months. Contestant Britt Nilsson, who competed on Chris Soules' season of The Bachelor, spoke about her struggle in a video on her YouTube channel. In it, she revealed that being on the show actually exacerbated her disordered eating.
"For me, having tons of food everywhere [on The Bachelor]… it just became too much," she said. "I would just eat to shove down — I had pain and anxiety, I felt insecure, I didn't feel pretty enough, I didn't know what was going on, I missed my family."
After binging, she would make herself throw up (known as bulimia), and was worried people on set could hear her through her microphone. It wasn't until two years ago that she vowed to never make herself throw up again.
By opening up about these struggles, Bachelor Nation is doing the important work of not just highlighting these issues, but proving that, with help, those who suffer from eating disorders can get better.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
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