Cheryl Burke recalls 'Dancing With the Stars' fans making her feel 'too fat for TV'

Cheryl Burke grew up on "Dancing With the Stars," but she was also torn down.

The former ABC dance pro discussed how fans triggered her body dysmorphia during her 26-season run on the dancing competition show, on an episode of "The Amy and T.J. Podcast" Tuesday.

Host T.J. Holmes asked how long it would take Burke to hypothetically feel confident in returning to the show, to which she confidentially declared she could "train" the former "GMA3" co-host.

"But as far as wearing one of the outfits, I would probably get on some sort of strict diet. But that's my body dysmorphia that I'll forever have," she added. "I've been very open with that."

Burke recalled starting on "DWTS" at 21 years old and going through a "horrific 'she's too fat for TV'" mentality. "I was growing into who I am as a woman, and with that I did gain weight."

The ballroom dancer recalled her weight being discussed on Los Angeles news station KTLA during Season 7 and "people that watch the show" commenting on her fluctuation.

"Did I gain a few pounds during the hiatus? Yes, naturally, right we do?" she continued. "I am curvy in comparison to a lot of the other professional women so whenever I did gain weight it was a thing."

Burke added that nobody on the show directly told her to lose weight, but she personally felt pressure due to outside commentary. "It would really alter my mood to where, if I felt heavy or if I felt bloated, and I was putting on a costume, then all my insecurities would come out on other people, onto my partner (or) just in general because of that self hate that I had for myself," she said.

"I think nowadays no one would ever say anything. Times have changed," she continued.

Burke said she's "still healing" from body dysmorphia but has made an "effort to compliment myself in my gratitude journal — it's a whole thing, because my brain has been trained to pick out the negatives, in general."

When the former dancer announced her exit from the show in November 2022, she said she knew her time was coming to an end because of the physical and emotional toll of being a performer. "Knowing in the back of my mind, I'm the oldest girl here … the actual self hate I felt got louder and louder," Burke recalled.

Cheryl Burke announces 'DWTS' exit after 26 seasons: 'So many conflicting emotions'

Cheryl Burke gets into the showmances on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Holmes and Amy Robach, his girlfriend and now podcast co-host, famously had a relationship that made waves while they were co-hosts on "GMA3."

On their recent podcast episode, the topic of showmances and "sex behind the scenes" came up as it relates to "DWTS."

"Dancing, especially ballroom, is an intimate contact sport," Burke said.

The dance pro wouldn't divulge who she had showmances with, but confirmed "it happened" a total of "three" times but they were mostly based on "lust."

'The Amy and T.J. Podcast': T.J. Holmes opens up about being seen as ‘a Black man beating up on' Amy Robach on podcast

"There's a lot of great relationships" that have come out of the show, she said, presumably referring to married couples Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd, Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy, and Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev.

"It's seven days a week. You are consumed with each other. And also, we've seen their insecurities, they're vulnerable," Burke continued. "In order to be successful on 'Dancing with the Stars,' you have to be ready to be vulnerable."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cheryl Burke talks body dysmorphia, TV hookups on 'DWTS'