EASTENDERS star Natalie Cassidy has revealed she finally feels body confident at a size ten after years of “ups and downs”.

The actress, 36, was thrust into the limelight when she started playing Sonia Fowler when she was just nine years old and has struggled with growing up in the public eye.

Over the years her weight has fluctuated from a size 16 to a size eight but she’s now happily a size ten.

Speaking to the Daily Express Saturday magazine, she said: “ I feel very at ease with myself now, as I’ve got older. Throughout the years I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs.

“Now, I just know the simple things that work – eat well, exercise, drink lots of water. All the boring things but I feel like my body is the size it should be now.

“I’m 37 in May. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I feel more confident about who I am and what I look like, 100 percent.”

Discussing how tough it was finding fame at a young age, she continued:  “Growing up in the spotlight is all I know. I was called a ‘beached whale’ when I was 12. It was awful.

“I understand now why my mum was so angry and protective o me, I would be exactly the same if it was one of my daughters. But you do develop a thick skin, you have to really.”

Last year Natalie ran the London Marathon and fell in love with running which has helped her lose weight.

She has also “sworn off take outs”, as well as "cheese, crisps and dips", which she previously said were her "downfall".

The star has also cut down on alcohol as much as possible to keep the weight off.

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