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Tami Roman got candid with Loni Love and Adrienne Houghton on an episode of The Real on Friday about a serious health struggle. The actress opened up for the first time about living with body dysmorphic disorder, a mental condition that affects how she perceives “flaws” on her body, causing her to pick herself apart.

Tami, 51, explained that the condition stemmed from a traumatic experience at 13-years-old, after encountering a brash modeling agent in New York City.

“A lot of people don’t know it’s either hereditary or genetic or comes from a negative experience, where your self- image has been annihilated,” she shared. “And for me when I was 13 years old, I wanted to be a model. You know we’re from New York, I was tall, I was 5’9, I was thin. And I went to this agency and walked in, and that lady ripped me to shreds. I thought I was perfect. 5’9, less than 120 pounds. Assuredly they’re going to sign me.

And she literally stood me in front of a mirror and said, ‘You’ve got back folds, you’ve got fat over your knees, you need to do something with your chin, your breasts are sagging!’ And I went home that night and from that moment, every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I could find something wrong with myself.”

The mother-of-two revealed that her self-image didn’t recover right away after being picked apart by the adult agent as a teen. She revealed she became preoccupied with the idea of getting skinny so she could pursue a modeling career.

“I started abusing laxatives, I started not eating, I started throwing up, I started doing everything that I could think of to do to be as skinny as I could possibly be, being obsessive about my weight loss,” she continued. “People don’t realize, that’s why I got my mouth wired in 1993. To be skinny when I was already skinny.”

Fast forward, Tami says she is managing having body dysmorphic disorder along with diabetes.

“And so now today at 50 years old, I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and so my weight fluctuates with that, and you couple that with the disorder and it’s a hard thing to manage,” Roman said. “People don’t understand what it is to be a person with this disorder, particularly dealing with the weight issues, because they leave negative comments.

Or what they feel are negative comments, but for me, my mind has such a warped sense of perception, it’s a compliment. Tami, you look too frail, Tami, you look like a bobblehead, Tami, you look skinny. In my mind, that goes, well I’m on the right track, I’m getting skinny. And then I don’t know when to stop.“

Hit play to hear Tami explain her journey with body dysmorphia.

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In related news, Roman shared that she filled in as a guest host on The Real for today, Nov. 22. Maybe we will seeing more of her when Jeannie goes on maternity leave?

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