"I've been in the public eye since I was 14, so I have a tough skin. It's fine dragging me through the mud, but don't drag my loved ones through it," the singer says in the July issue of Shape magazine. "They're my family, and it hurts them. All I'll say is, I know what's in my heart and what's true.
She adds: "I feel like people are looking and pointing at me like I'm in a fishbowl. I've learned to let it roll off my back, but it's super hard, and it really hurts."
Julianne Hough, who bares her bikini body along with Rimes and fellow country star Martina McBride on the cover of Shape, has had her own share of negative press. "I've gotten some really mean e-mails from fans telling me they think I've changed, that I'm not the sweet, innocent Julianne I used to be," says the Dancing with the Stars pro. "My cure for that is to tell myself I'm awesome, I'm confident, and I totally believe in myself!"
Dishing About DietsShooting down certain rumors about their diets ("One magazine recently reported that I drink only orange juice for my carbs," moans Hough. "If I did that, it would kill me"), the singers also vent about the differences between how women and men eat.
"I pretty much eat what I want. My trick is to stop as soon as I'm full," Hough says. "Last night my sister ordered Mexican food and I was like, 'What are you trying to do to me? I have a shoot tomorrow!' But I ate until I felt satisfied, and then I was done."
"Why do we get so angry at ourselves when we eat foods we love?" McBride wonders aloud. "Do you think guys walk around going, 'I just ate a cheeseburger and I'm so mad at myself'?' "
"No, they don't!" answers Rimes. "I just saw my husband [Dean Sheremet] at the food table eating a brownie, and he already had another one in his hand. And I said, 'Are you going to eat two of those?' And he's like, 'Yeah!' And I said, 'I hate you right now!' "
And McBride makes sure to point out to her three daughters – Delaney, 14, Emma, 11, and Eva, 4 – that celebrities have extra help in appearing so glamorous. "When I do a magazine shoot like this, I have to explain to [them] that it takes a team of professionals to do my hair and makeup so I look this way," she says. "I have girls who are concerned about how they look compared to models or what have you. It's my responsibility to teach them that beauty is more than superficial."