Carrie Underwood has been a vegetarian since she was 13, but she was never really concerned about the way she looked until she began performing on American Idol. In an interview with Women's Health, the singer said she was motivated to begin dieting and exercising while she was in the singing competition.
In the profile, Underwood recalled seeing a comment on a fan site that said "Carrie's getting fat" as she was competing on the show. While she acknowledged that the remark shouldn't have gotten to her, she said that it did have an impact, and ultimately helped motivate her to lose weight.
"I was tired, and I kept buying bigger clothes. I knew I could be better for myself, and I let my haters be my motivators," she said.
After Underwood won the show's fourth season, she went on tour with the rest of the contestants from that season. As she toured, she started to pay more attention to what she was eating. She logged her time on the elliptical, read food labels, and began to count her calories more carefully. She said that, initially, the diet was going quite well, and she had more energy for performing.
However, when the country icon decided to take things one step further, that changed. She was eating just 800 calories a day, and eventually noticed that her energy was less consistent, causing her to break from her diet much more frequently.
"I would 'fall off the wagon,' then feel terrible and repeat the cycle. Your body is screaming out, 'I need more calories, I need more carbs!'," the singer said.At the time, Underwood said she lacked the parameters required to make smart decisions about her diet. Eventually, she got help from a personal trainer and a nutritionist. They gave her the knowledge she needed to lose weight healthily, and also gave her knowledge that she has since imparted on other women. With the help of these professionals, Underwood was able to find a diet and exercise routine that worked for her.
In addition to discussing her move toward a healthier lifestyle, Underwood also discussed the challenges of staying consistent with her regimen while raising kids. She said that, even as she works to maintain her health, she knows that she has to balance that with time for fun activities, too. To close out the interview, she shared her own philosophy for healthy living.
"Physical fitness makes everything else possible," Underwood said.