Lindita Halimi grew up during the war in Kosovo, so eating was an act of survival.
“We never knew when the next time was we were going to eat,” Halimi, 27, tells PEOPLE in this week’s Half Their Size feature. “It was the worst feeling in the world, not being able to eat when you wanted to. So, when the war ended, I ate uncontrollably to make up for all the times that I couldn’t. And it took a wrong turn.”
The singer began eating entire pizzas, family-size bags of candy and almost entire jars of Nutella by herself.
“Everything that’s fattening, I ate it excessively,” she says.
Halimi, who is 5’4″, and goes by just her first name professionally, reached a high weight of 250 lbs.