Nicole Scherzinger Opens Up About Eight-Year Bulimia Struggle

10/07/2012 at 05:30 PM EDT

Behind the Music: Nicole Scherzinger Talks Bulimia
The X Factor's Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger says that after the emotional high from performing with the Pussycat Dolls, she'd come crashing down – with disastrous results.

"I'd come back to my room and I'd be alone, so I would just do things," she tells VH1's Behind the Music. "My bulimia was my addiction. Hurting myself was my addiction."

In the show airing Sunday, the sexy singer and former X Factor judge acknowledges that it's "embarrassing" to discuss her eight-year battle with bulimia.

"I never spoke about it," Scherzinger, 34, says. "Like I said, I never want to play a victim, and I never wanted my family to hear about things from me because I think it would break their heart, you know?"

But the pain, she says, was very real, her troubles starting in 2003 when she was first given the skimpy lingerie that the Pussycat Dolls wore.

"I really was so disgusted with myself," adding, "I hated myself. … I never felt so alone in my life."

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