Last year I was scouted by a modelling agency in London. Although this is great, I gained a bit of weight during the winter months. I am vegan too and I was just wondering if you had any tips on losing this very stubborn weight. I workout regularly for at least 5 hours a week (that's all I can fit in due to school). I feel extremely pressured to lose weight because I know that I am not 'model size'. It has gotten to the point where I don't even want to be seen in public because I feel so ashamed of my body and wearing tight clothes such as jeans has recently become my worst nightmare.
By the way, I love your blog!! :)
Hi!! Thank you so much for writing in 😀
Argh I remember the early days. My first agency telling me to lose weight at sixteen, and not providing me with any details as to how to do it. So I just experimented with mild starvation, and got in a bad cycle of over/under eating. It took me years to figure out how to approach balance with modeling and body size, and it is still such a struggle for me today.
First off – you have no idea how much I feel you with the jeans and tight clothes. I feel like I have some kind of PTSD with jeans, I absolutely hate wearing them, and only wear men’s jeans these days (to be fair, way more comfortable!).
I am not naturally “model-size”. Whilst I am naturally lanky and long, I tend to put on weight easily, and it is hard for me to lose it. The only times in my career where I lost the weight (and was very thin), it was through very intense dieting and exercise. And it was only for a certain job or portion of time, and then I would gain it all back and then some. Mentally it took even longer to bounce back from these periods. I have found a happy medium these days though, and am learning to embrace myself wherever I am at.
Forcing your body to hit goals it isn’t built for is not an ok thing. Modeling requires you to be a certain size and shape, and for some girls this is relatively easy. They can eat three healthy meals a day, workout and not destroy their hormonal systems and mental health. But there are many other girls for whom this is not their reality, and I am worried that you are one of them. Whilst this job is a great source of income and travel, the long term effects can be awful. Not getting your period, and sourcing your sense of self worth from how low your body weight can get is disastrous, and I have seen so many girls lose years of happiness to that cycle. As young women it just isn’t worth it. We have so much more to offer to the world than getting distracted and sucked into dieting and body size.
Personally, I have found a happy balance. I will never naturally and healthily maintain a very small size, but I am so lucky to have clients and a career where that is not essential. I have found a place for myself with people who like healthy looking girls, and I am able to exist in a state of (relative) balance. And for the record, balance is a fulcrum point, not a static state of existence. I work hard to keep the scary, body hating monsters at bay, and I find the more time I spend focused on what I have to offer, the less time I spend fascinated by the mirror.
For you I would advise you to focus more on who you are than how you look. You are still in high school, so your body is going to be doing some weird changes regardless. Keep eating healthily, and working out. Do not go over five hours a week, that is plenty of activity, and do not starve yourself or do weird diets. Eat three balanced meals a day, plus a snack. Have a meal off a week where you eat the damn ice cream. Take up meditation to learn what it feels like to click into your subconscious. And maybe think about seeing a therapist to get to the root of where these feelings of low self worth and shame come from – because it is never what you think it is. The feelings usually come up out of nowhere once we are capable of coping with it; and they usually come from old pain from childhood, before you had defenses in place to rationalize hurt. Once your demons have a face and a name, it becomes so much easier to put them back in their place.
Focus on what else you have to offer to the world, and what your place looks like on this planet. Modeling is a great job, but if it destroys your sense of self worth, or warps it so much that your exterior is all that matters, it is not worth it.
Just keep growing and asking why, stay in touch with what you know to be you, and fuck the rest. You only get one life, don’t live it in the shadow of how other people think you should live.
I hope this helps!