Throughout her time on Full House, actress Candace Cameron Bure played DJ Tanner — the responsible, older sister with luscious golden locks and a gorgeous boyfriend. However, behind the scenes, the star was secretly struggling with her body image. In her 2011 memoir, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness, Candace revealed that she battled bulimia in her early 20s — but when she burst back onto the scene with Fuller House‘s 2016 premiere, the star was visibly happy and healthy. She even told People, “I feel the most fit and strong that I’ve ever felt in my life.” So, how did the actress find her perfect weight?

candace cameron bure getty

Candace in 1994.

The star, now 42, opened up to Cosmopolitan about how she changed her lifestyle after having three children, sharing details of the exercise routine and diet that works for her body. To start, the star sticks to foods like fruits and veggies, quinoa, hummus, and soups — and while she doesn’t have an allergy to lactose or gluten, the proud mom steers clear of dairy, refined sugars, and white flour, explaining, “they’re not good for you.” Despite her clean eating, Candace does allow herself to indulge every now and then. “I don’t eat dairy on a regular basis, but a lot of baked goods contain butter or milk,” she says. “To say I never have dessert would be a complete lie.”

The actress also breaks a sweat several times a week, and makes sure to fuel up with whole grains or carbs before a workout, and sips on a protein shake afterwards. Candace prefers to mix up her exercise — meaning she could go for a run one day, and then do strength-training or a Pilates class the next. If she has the time, she carves out an hour to torch calories alongside her trainer Kira Stokes.

Though the actress is proud of what she sees when she looks in the mirror, she admits that working in Hollywood can still bring out her insecurities. “You have all eyes on you at all times, so anyone that says there isn’t some form of pressure, men, and women, to always be looking your best, they would be lying to you,” she explains.

“If anyone follows my Instagram, they know how much I enjoy to work out because I post about it all the time. It’s not like my character for DJ or any of the parts in my Hallmark movies or my mystery series require me to have a lean, fit body,” Candace notes. “I just really enjoy fitness because it’s a personal choice, not because I have to look a certain way for my characters.” Amen!