I would like to acknowledge and apologize for some of the things I wrote and spoke about over the past couple of years. I genuinely thought that I was doing the right thing for my health and wellness. I now know that I was completely in the depths of body dysmorphia and it really worries me that I was not a positive role model out there. I do genuinely want to be someone who uses her platform mindfully and in a positive way, and even when I was at my most unwell, I wanted to be a good role model. I definitely was aware of the dissonance between the reality of my life and the public persona I was putting out there. It really made me unhappy and for this I am thankful, as it was through this great discomfort that I found my way out. I truly believe that out of the conflict lies the solution. It just requires becoming extremely uncomfortable at times.
For the record, I never did lie about what I ate. I always was truthful. But the amounts I ate were never enough. The part that gets me though is that I truly thought they were. When I claimed that I ate loads, I thought that I did. I would fill up on foods that were low calorie, and think that I was eating a healthy balanced diet. I was extremely active, sometimes training 2-3 hours a day, and thought that that made me fit. But if someone offered me a piece of fruit to eat, I would become so anxious and fearful at the thought of having to eat it (something unplanned) that I would nearly be sick with worry. And I couldn’t calm down my anxiety until I had completed my training for the day. If I had a 5am call time, I would be in the gym at 3:30am. If my flight landed at 8pm, I would be in the gym at 9pm.
I am trying to temper my true passion for health and fitness with balance and meaning. I would eat such an extreme diet, and train so hard because I would look in the mirror and see someone who needed to lose weight looking back at me. My best friend was staying with me once when I was at my smallest, and she was shocked at how I knew cognitively that I was small, but whenever I saw myself in the mirror, I saw excess weight that needed to come off. When I would give interviews and discuss my eating habits I truly believed that eating predominately vegetables and protein shakes was ok. Obviously this is not ok. I am sorry for being so public about damaging eating habits.
At the end of the day we are all in charge of how we eat that feels the most right. Throughout this entire journey I have always been plant based. I have done a lot of soul searching with this, even experimenting with eating fish again. But I always come back to this way of eating. There is a part of me that feels at peace and happy when I eat plant food. I have been lactose intolerant my entire adult life so dairy has never been something I have had any interest in eating. I have been plant based at my heaviest, and plant based at my lightest. Funnily enough the foods that I spent the past few years terrified of are essential to a healthy plant-based diet, and not at all found in animal products (carbohydrates). Now that nothing is off limits, my health and energy are at an all time high. I feel comfortable talking about being a plant-based eater, simply because I don’t believe that it is a means by which to limit my food intake. If I needed to eat meat again for my health, I would do it. If after all this abuse I have heaped on my digestive system, I needed to eat meat to heal, I would in a heart beat. But I have bounced back 😀 And am thriving. Thank goodness.
Body dysmorphia is a terrifying thing. I have had countless conversations with fellow models, all of whom are tiny, where they call themselves fat. It is such a hard thing to understand if you are removed from this – weight and size should be objective. Either you fit the clothes, or you don’t. But when it becomes a mental game like this, it grows wings of its own.
When I made the decision to start eating again, I really struggled with dysmorphia. Because this time I really was gaining weight. Nothing crazy – I threw away a few old pairs of jeans, but I am not built to be too curvy. But it was enough to give those head demons a microphone, especially since I had taken away the self soothing method I used to employ (starvation). Aware of my previous habits of over exercising, I did not let myself train beyond walking for a few months. And it was torturous. But as the weight came on, the anxiety quickly swelled to a deafening crescendo, and then began to slowly die out. Over consistent work and time I found myself actually liking what I saw in the mirror. Even though Bridget from 1.5 years ago would have been horrified that I had ‘left myself go’. For the first time what I am seeing in the mirror is actually my reflection looking back at me. And for the first time that I can remember, I like my body.
I am so glad that I got real with you guys. The guilt I feel at some of the things I used to recommend as healthy eating habits, truly because I believed them makes me sick. I want you all to know that I intend to use this platform as mindfully as possible from hereon out. I do not want to make damaging recommendations anymore. I only want to speak the truth. So I intend to share with you all my good and bad days – I am no longer hiding behind the veneer of “clean” eating. That word aggravates me. It is 2016 talk for disordered eating. It also means absolutely nothing. Beyond making sure my food isn’t contaminated with bacteria, clean eating is not a thing in my life.
I truly hope that you guys can accept my apology. I said some things in the media that make me cringe now. Being completely at odds with what I saw in the mirror and who I thought I was led me down a dark path of denial. I am not making excuses for the past – far from it. I just wanted to share with you all a little of how twisted my mind was, at the time of talking about my diet.
So much love to you all. And I dictate my road 😀
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THANKS SO MUCH