From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
THEN 112 LBS.

NOW 126 LBS.

It was one of her proudest moments: After hitting 140 lbs., Danielle Fishel signed up for Nutrisystem—and not only went on to drop 28 lbs., but also to do a 2007 bikini ad for the company. The feeling of triumph, however, didn't last long. As soon as the shoot was over, the 5'1" star gorged herself. "I had a grilled cheese, fries and a milk shake," she says. "It was not a maintainable weight for me."

Today, Fishel is back up to 126 lbs.—just don't expect her to start a new diet. After years of forcing her body to be an impossibly small size—which began when she was 15 and starring as Topanga on Boy Meets World—Fishel, 28, says she is finally happy with her figure: "I'm as healthy as I've ever been."

As a teen, Fishel was anything but. "Obsessed" with having a 24-in. waist, she resorted to extremes such as taking laxatives, eating only iceberg lettuce and occasionally throwing up. "I was terrified to eat," says Fishel, who at 16 was just 89 lbs. But when she collapsed on-set one day, "I realized this was not a game."

Fishel now follows a balanced diet that includes blueberries and chicken-salad wraps. And though she's back on TV hosting The Dish on the Style Network, she's not worried about looking skinny on-camera. "I've learned," she says, "to be comfortable in my own skin."