When Hattie Boydle was 16 years old, she says she weighed a dangerous 26 kilograms (57 pounds). Anorexia nervosa had completely disintegrated her body, mindset and self-worth.
Today, the 28-year-old Australian fitness star and model weighs 56 kilos (123 pounds) and is speaking out about how her eating disorder changed her life.
I was hesitant to post this, because I know there are some people that find this offensive however this is something I am incredibly proud of. This is my own transformation, and although it's very much a physical one; it the mental transformation which I value the most. It's the mental battle that takes years to overcome and definately the one worth fighting for. It's taken me 11 years to get to this point, and it's really only the last 3 years that I have truly transformed. Amazing things come out of pain, but that can't be the motivator forever. Even more amazing things come out of love and that's where you will really start to evolve. I am not perfect, eveybody has bad days, but those bad days are few and far between. I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. I believe that self love is probably one of the hardest but most rewarding relationships you will ever have, and like any relationship - can be hard work and takes time. Progress, not perfection. 😘 ❤ #thesportsmodelproject #hattieboydle #fitness #squad #bikini #motivation #beauty #love #chicksloveme #bethebestversionofyourself #progressnotperfection #WBFFpro #wbff #instagrambodybuilding
While the current World Beauty and Fitness Champion says that today she's "very much free" of the condition that sent her to the hospital and almost claimed her life as a teen, Boydle says she remembers feeling guilty about food and restricting her diet more than 10 years ago when she fell prey to anorexia.
"It took me a long time to get here. I have no restriction on food. I don't feel guilty about food. I don't over exercise. I do not feel guilty about having a rest day. Mentally I just feel freedom," she told The Daily Telegraph.
"I don't think I would be the person I am today without that experience, it led me to fitness and helping other women."
I do not fear hard work. I take hold of everything I can control and I do the best that I can. There is great satisfaction knowing that I couldn't have worked any harder than what I do everyday. ❤️ 7.5 weeks to go @wbff_official #thesportsmodelproject #hattieboydle #WBFFWorldChampion #bethebestversionofyou #love #life #beauty #fashion #fitness
Boydle, who will defend her title later this month, told Daily Mail Australia earlier this year that she tried "every diet under the sun" to get the figure that she thought would make her feel happy — but realized dieting was not the answer to a healthy lifestyle.
"While [the diet] worked when I was doing it, I found it was unsustainable," she said. "I'd go back to the place I had been before I started, being anxious about food and feeling restricted."
She went on to say that she realized there isn't one magical food or diet that can sustain a healthy lifestyle, instead mentioning that balance is key.
I remember trying to do these a year ago. I really struggled. I could barely lift my legs. It's nice to know they have improved in both strength and appearance. I train my abs 2 x a week. 3 if I am feeling adventurous 😋 If you want to grow your abs you must train them like you would train any other body part you are wanting to improve on. You also need to work on your diet. Regardless of how much time you spend on your abs, if you are holding too much body fat you will not see those delicious blocks of chocolate till your body fat decreases. Everyone's body fat is different when it comes to seeing visible abs. I know for myself I have to be around 12% or less. *** When you notice your hamstring gains, while doing an ab video. #gains 🤤 Wearing : Grey Tights and Black mesh top✌🏼 crop top and pants AVAILABLE NOW! 💻 www.MuscleNation.org 🔥 10% OFF + 4 FREE GIFTS 🎁 use code HATTIE10 @musclenationofficial #thesportsmodelproject #hattieboydle #bethebestversionofyou #WBFFWorldChampion #teamdomin8 #abs
"I came to the realisation that there's no specific food that makes you slim or toned," she said. "That the key to anything is finding a balance of all foods."
Boydle says that learning to love herself was more important than any diet or exercise routine she's ever tried.
"I think once you work on your belief system and self-worth and validations, then everything else comes after," she said. "The body comes after that — you're doing something from a place of love rather than punishment."