updated 08/07/2012 AT 1:20 PM ET
•originally published 08/07/2012 AT 4:45 PM ET
Like many stars, Pretty Little Liars star Lucy Hale has struggled with an eating disorder.
Hale, 23, opens up in the September issue of Cosmopolitan about how she once battled with her body image.
“I’ve never really talked about this, but I would go days without eating,” Hale shares.
“Or maybe I’d have some fruit and then go to the gym for three hours. I knew I had a problem … It was a gradual process but I changed myself.”
During the candid interview, Hale also shares how she met her boyfriend, actor Chris Zylka.
“I was like, ‘Holy crap you’re gorgeous!’” she says. “It was like no one else was there. We couldn’t stop talking.”
When it comes to dating, Hale is anything but shy about what she wants. The actress told PEOPLE in 2010 her ideal match has “got to be a gentleman. He’s got to have a good relationship with his mom, because I feel like that says a lot. He’s got to be pretty hysterical. I don’t want just funny. He’s got to make me laugh pretty hard.”