Supermodel Liza Golden is getting real about her struggles with body image. In a photo recently shared to Instagram, she details how different her body and her mindset were at the "peak" of her career.
Click through the slideshow to see the dramatic transformation of her body, from the time when she was eating 20 pieces of steamed edamame for dinner to the present, where she doesn't feel pressured to fight her body.
Golden says that in 2012, at the "start of the peak" of her career, she was starving herself in order to book caeer-boosting fashion shows and gigs.
"I was booking amazing shows that one never thinks they actually could, walking with girls who I once looked up to, it was a serious adrenaline rush," she wrote on Instagram.
But that all changed when she fainted while preparing dinner ("I think it was 20 pieces of steamed edamame if I remember correctly," she wrote). She decided to stop starving herself. She ate a full bag of almonds, which turned into a full-sized meal, which turned into a full-out binge.
It began getting harder and harder to limit her appetite and curb cravings. She writes that her hip measurements, that were once 34.5 inches, swelled to 36.6 inches — which was enough to be pulled from fashion show lineups even after Vogue.com named her one of six in the freshman model class of 2013.
Eventually, she began booking commercial gigs, like "shooting catalogues and .com's where you don't have to be a complete rail to book jobs." She was disappointed with herself for losing her battle with food.
"In 2012 I was having about 500 calories a day, whereas here in 2014 I was having about 800-1200 depending on my mood and hunger patterns," Golden wrote.
It was the fittest she'd ever been — she even had a six-pack — but it wasn't enough to book high-profile gigs.
With no luck booking big names like Victoria's Secret, Golden decided to take a six-week trip to India to do "a little soul searching", where she met a man who she later married and who changed her entire perspective on body image.
She eventually left her NYC life behind and moved to India with her new husband. She also learned to stop fighting her body.
"One day I just thought... why am I fighting against my body? Why don't I just go in the same direction? Stop forcing my own agenda and just listen to my body. And that's what I did, slowly slowly I was coming into my true body form. My natural self, not my forced self."
A post shared by Liza Golden-Bhojwani (@lizagoldenreal) on
Eventually, she began to love her body as it is.
"The picture on the right is me as of right now, my body as it is," she writes. "Not perfect, not show ready or VS ready, not the best, but it is mine and my soul is happy."
"I workout 5 days a week, but there are times when I don't due to injuries, or travels. And you know what? That's just fine with me. Because when I'm done I get right back to the gym happily!"
"I do it solely for myself, not for my job anymore. I eat what I want and I feel no guilt. And for me that's a good feeling. Maybe I wasn't made to be on the covers of magazines and shooting the biggest and best brands, but I was made for a reason. I do deserve to be happy and feel fulfilled. We all do. Maybe I was made to share this story and spread the message of body love to all the women out there struggling. Only god knows."