"Nicole's always been comfortable with her body," boyfriend Joel Madden told PEOPLE. (Richie denied ever having an eating disorder.) It was just "an issue for everyone else."
The singer, who has been vacationing in St. Lucia, "has consciously been trying to eat better and get fitter for some time now," her rep tells PEOPLE. "It is beginning to pay off."
She and 90210
costar Shenae Grimes have talked about the body scrutiny they get. "We're the new girls," Grimes told PEOPLE, "so we've been plopped into these boxes."