How This Model Went from Eating 500 Calories a Day to Becoming a Body Positive Influencer
Plus-size model Liza Golden-Bhojwani shares her inspiring journey to self-love.
Liza Golden-Bhojwani is known for her body positive posts that stress the importance of loving and respecting your body just the way it is. But surprisingly, that isn't something that always came so easily to the influential plus-size model.
In a recent Instagram post, Liza opened up about her heartbreaking journey to self-love that transformed her from a runway model surviving on 500 calories a day to a powerful force in the body-positive movement. (Next up, read how model Iskra Lawrence became a body pos influencer.)
Her post shows side-by-side photos comparing her body then and now. "The left side was me at the start of the peak of my career," she explained, adding that it was "the first proper fashion week where I was actually the size I needed to be."
"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...but after fainting one night in my apartment whilst preparing one of my very low cal meals (I think it was 20 pieces of steamed edamame if I remember correctly), I called it quits with the diet and workout regimen I was put on and decided I could do it on my own."
"I thought to myself, I can still be this thin, but I'll just eat a little more so I don't feel so horrible," she writes. "Well, eating a little more turned into eating nearly a bag full of almonds, which then turned into eating full-size meals, which then turned into a full-blown binge. I was craving every single food you could imagine and I was giving in to every craving even though I knew this was such an important time in my career."
Liza shares that over time she became "a 35.5-inch hip rather than [a] 34.5-inch hip," which led her to be criticized for her 'thighs looking fat.' After that, Liza says her size caused her to lose jobs and eventually stopped her from modeling altogether, choosing not to put her body through any more unnecessary torment. "I had seriously just given up on my short-lived high fashion career because I just simply could not hack it," she writes.
It wasn't till two years later that Liza finally began to practice a healthy fitness regimen that helped her get back on track, she says. "In 2014 I got a kick, a rev of my engine, I wanted to get in shape again, I was over giving up," she said. "I wanted in again, but in a much healthier way.... And I did just that, I worked my *ss off day in and day out in the gym. I was strict about my diet, but I wasn't fully starving myself like I had two years ago."
Although her body was healthier and more fit than it had ever been, it wasn't enough to land her the modeling gigs she wanted, she says. "In 2012 I was having about 500 calories a day, whereas here in 2014 I was having about 800–1,200 depending on my mood and hunger patterns," she says.
"I was the fittest I ever was in my entire career at this point, I had six-pack abs, but still I wasn't fit enough for the likes of Victoria's Secret or other brands." (P.S. we are obsessed with these regular women who recreated their own Victoria's Secret Fashion Show)
But despite the disappointment, Liza eventually began to appreciate her body as it is and has never looked back since. "One day I just thought ... why am I fighting against my body?" she writes. "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."
That empowering attitude is something we can certainly all learn from. Major props to Liza for sharing her inspiring story and reminding us all to #LoveMyShape.