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Lena Dunham's body confidence is one of the coolest things about her, but she wasn't always this positive about herself.

The actress has been releasing excerpts from upcoming memoir Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned (out September 30).

In one of the collection of personal essays, Lena describes a period in life where she was desperately trying to lose weight – around the time the first season of "Girls" was in production.

"My food intake was a hard thing to share publicly,” she said. “A lot of my life and work is sort of about not succumbing to [those pressures], so it’s a little painful to go, 'Oh but look, there was a time where this dominated every moment of every day.'"

As a result of her dangerous dieting, Lena ended up "in the hospital with crazy stomach pains. It was basically revealed that I’d been just drinking laxative tea and coffee and smoking cigarettes and then eating weird foods at weird hours. I really messed myself up."

One of the things that really helped Lena learn to appreciate herself was boyfriend Jack Antonoff of Fun., who she has previously described as "a feminist."

"I really feel good with my size now," said Lena. "I know when I say that people are like, 'mm hmm,' but I just do! It used to be when I went into a room with all thin women I felt like, what’s wrong with me? Now I just feel special."


Photo: Getty Images