Before the Pretty Little Liars star performed a sassy samba routine to Hailee Steinfeld's hit song "Most Girls," she opened up about her unexpected weight gain in the show's pre-taped segment. "I gained 70-ish pounds over two years," Pieterse emotionally divulged. "It was really, really hurtful the way people reacted. They were saying stuff like, 'She's pregnant.' 'You're fat.' They were angry, they were mad that I look like this. It was one of the hardest things I've ever been through."
It turns out Pieterse has polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that is common among young women. "Finally, I knew what this was happening to me," she stated.
With a diagnosis and her dancing shoes on-hand, the 21-year-old lost 15 pounds from her intense training on the show. "Most importantly, I'm feeling like me again," Pieterse shared. "It's not an easy road, but being able to focus on getting myself healthy again and the fact that I'm seeing results now and getting better is all I can ask for."
The actress hopes her story can help bring awareness to the mysterious condition. "What I want [is] for people to have awareness because so many women have it and they don't know and if you don't catch it in time, it leads to [things like] ovarian cancer and breast cancer and all kinds of things that women deal with all the time," Pieterse pointed out in a post-show interview with Entertainment Tonight. "[A lot of it] could've been avoided, so if I can share that, that's really important to me."
We're wishing Pieterse a healthy and happy recovery!