'Bachelor' Clayton Echard Says He Was 'Scared' About How He'd Look on TV Due to Body Dysmorphia

'I was afraid it was going to put me in a little dark spiral,' the Bachelor admitted.

Clayton Echard is opening up about a personal struggle. During the latest episode of the Talking It Out With Bachelor Nation podcast, the 28-year-old Bachelor star gave more insight into his battle with body dysmorphia, after first revealing his struggle during a group date that aired on Jan. 24.

Clayton's body insecurities began in middle school, when he was teased for his appearance. On the Bachelor episode, he noted that he "hated" himself as a kid, and always worried about how his stomach looked. Those fears followed Clayton into Bachelor Nation.

"How am I going to look on camera? I remember that was a big thought I had. The camera adds 10 pounds. How am I going to look on camera when this plays back?" Clayton told podcast hosts Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo. "I'll be honest with you, I was kind of scared. Well, here we're going to find out right now how I look on camera. I had no idea. I was afraid it was going to put me in a little dark spiral. I'm like, 'You look fat. There you go. You look fat on camera.'"

The former football player, who's appeared shirtless on The Bachelor several times, also addressed commenters who questioned, "If he doesn't want to show his body off, why is he doing it now?"

"I'm at a better place where I'm OK with it now because I've had enough people say, 'Hey, you look like you're in good shape,'" he explained. "But all it takes is three comments back-to-back-to-back to say, 'You look kind of fat.' That's all it takes. All of sudden, it puts you right back into that negative mindset. That's kind of the power of body dysmorphia; the fear of it is you never truly get rid of it."

Though Clayton knows he can "never shake that body dysmorphia," he said that he has been able to "get it under control in some realms" through diet and exercise.

"It is a choice to get under control, but that requires a tremendous amount of effort," he said. "I think that's where you have to commit to saying, 'OK, listen. I'm going to commit to a diet. I'm going to commit to a workout plan. I'm going to tell myself that this is not going to be fixed in one day, but every day that I wake up, I'm better than I was the day before. As long as I get my workout in today, I've done something today to put me in a better position where tomorrow I'm going to wake up and I will be a better human being, a better individual, and closer to that goal that I'm trying to achieve.'"

Clayton also cautioned others with similar struggles not to "make these massive changes all at once."

"Everyone wants to make these giant changes all at once and go, 'OK, I'm going to cut calories, I'm going to do this new workout plan.' That can be a recipe for disaster," he said. "You might end up overworking your body with this new workout plan, needing more calories, but now you're cutting calories, so now your body goes into metabolic damage and you actually drop your metabolism. That's this whole beast, where people want to see these major changes, so they make major changes... Put the time in to figure what works best for you and understand that it just takes time to get there."

For Clayton, "the tough part of body dysmorphia is it's so visual."

"Unless you can change the way that you view yourself, you're never going to truly shake it because it's what's you see," he said. "Everyone wants to see a picture, everyone wants to look in the mirror, and go, 'I actually like what I'm seeing today.' It's not a quick fix, it never will be. Body dysmorphia, you can't snap your fingers and it goes away."

After Clayton opened up about his struggle with body dysmorphia on the show, Susie praised him for having the courage to do so. When ET spoke to Bachelor host Jesse Palmer, he likewise celebrated Clayton's decision to be open and vulnerable throughout his journey to find love.

"Clayton wears his emotions on his sleeve... Clayton wants this so badly," Jesse said. "I don't know if I've ever met anybody in my life that wants this as bad as Clayton does... He's so sincere and genuine. He deserves this opportunity to find love."

Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC. ET has got you covered throughout the entirety of his season with all of our Bachelor content