The singer, who is currently taking part in ITV1 reality show Popstar To Operastar, admitted that she is disappointed to have increased to a size 16 again, but is determined not to let it ruin her life.
Richards was 10st 4lbs and a size 10 in March, but struggled to keep off the weight due to her commitments with work and as a mum.
The ex-popstar said that she felt the need to speak out about her recent weight gain because she has previously released keep-fit DVDs and promoted her weight loss in magazines.
Richards told Closer: "I felt like after all the weight-loss features I'd done, I owed it to people to be honest about this. My husband [electrician Reece Hill] also encouraged me to do the shoot so I could see how lovely I am - and I'm trying to believe him!
"I'm obviously disappointed that I've put weight back on and I'd be lying if I said I was more comfortable being a size 16, but I've got to stop beating myself up. For me, staying thin is like a full-time job, and I'd rather spend that time looking after my kids and focusing on my career."
Richards added: "There's always been a part of me that feels food is my addiction. I've never smoked or taken drugs, but in the past eating has been a compulsion.
"I don't know if I'll ever be truly happy with myself, but I'll give it my best shot. The important thing is to be comfortable whatever my size. I'm sure I'll get bigger and smaller again over the next few years."
> Richards puts baby bonding over slimming
> Steps star loses six stone in a year