Cheryl Burke has seen her weight assailed by critics for years, so when the naturally curvy Dancing With The Stars pro dropped 15 pounds recently, it seemed certain it would shut them up for a while.
Then the opposite happened.
After a People magazine article detailing the changes she made, Cheryl Burke found new critics who said she was only giving in to Hollywood pressures. Others said she was trying to meet unhealthy demands, saying the 15-pound weight loss wasn't necessary in the first place.
Now Burke is speaking out, saying that her weight loss was for her own health and nothing --- or no one --- else.
"I've had a very public struggle with the press and their comments about my weight for a number of years now, but I want to make it clear that this isn't about them," Burke said in a message on her Facebook page. "Yes, I have been hurt by their criticism, but I'm only human. This wasn't some drastic change I made overnight. I'm not caving in to the pressures of Hollywood, as some of you have expressed your concern that I might be, and I'm certainly not starving myself."
Burke, who now weighs 120 pounds, had said that weight fluctuations are normal, especially during the strenuous dance season.
"I always lose weight – around 5 to 7 lbs.," she explains. "It's because of our strenuous rehearsals and long hours, which is not relatable to anybody because you're working out 8 to 10 hours a day."
To drop her weight, Burke focused on eating three healthy meals a day and working out with her new friend, actress and DWTS contestant Leah Remini. Burke said the lifestyle adjustments helped to even out her weight loss and kept her at a consistent weight year-round.
In her response to weight critics, Cheryl went on to say that dropping weight isn's about "chasing a number on a scale" or about "Hollywood." She also wanted her weight loss to serve as an inspiration to others.
"We will all face criticism throughout our lives, no matter where we live and what we weigh," she wrote. "So if you're struggling with that, you're not alone. Not at all."
"My weight fluctuates, just like any other person's does, and there will always be critics. You've got to tune out the other people and tune in to what's going on inside. Love yourself. Nourish your body. Be kind to one another."
Cheryl Burke may be happy with her weight loss, but she just learned an important lesson as well --- you can't please everybody.