In her new memoir, The Living Clearly Method, Hilaria Baldwin opened up about her two-decade long battle with anorexia and bulimia. She revealed that her struggle with her body had started early, while she was still in high school and dreaming of becoming a professional ballroom dancer.
"Without realizing it, I started drifting away from the playful connection to movement I'd enjoyed as a young child and into a different and darker kind of dynamic: pushing my body to its limits and commanding it to perform through pain or fatigue," the 32-year-old confessed.
She took her self-destructive habits with her to NYU, where she quickly realized her body could no longer function in its unhealthy state.
"By the time I was 20 years old, my 5-foot-3 frame was at least 20 lbs. under a healthy weight," she said. "My nails were brittle, my hair was falling out, my period was MIA, and my energy had tanked. I was miserable and desperate to feel better."
At this point, Baldwin decided to turn to yoga, hoping it would motivate her to turn her life around. While it initially had a positive effect, PEOPLE reports that the dancer says she eventually lost sight of why she'd started practicing in the first place.
We all have our moments when we need some namaste...throwback to when Carmen needed an emergency hug while I was inconveniently recording a yoga sequence for a student. Today my book comes out. It's all about destressing, finding yourself, summoning up the discipline to eat well and exercise...plus tons of yummy recipes and fun workouts. So much has led up to today. I hope you love it as much as the love that I put into it. #366daysoflivingclearly #hilarialcm @rodalebooks
"I wish I could say that it was smooth sailing from this point on, but sometimes things have to get a whole lot worse before they get better," the mother-of-three stated. "Even while I was helping so many others, I still didn't listen to my body. Extraordinarily long days became my reality; skipping meals was par for the course."
It wasn't until she had a bad fall in 2009 that she had what she called a "rude awakening." Because of her tiny frame, the injury caused her leg bone to sever from her hip, leading to a long and treacherous recovery that eventually ended up being her wake-up call.
"My year of recovery turned out to be a year of waking up, in which I healed my two-decade-long eating struggle and began to treat myself right," she says. "The imbalances that had been there for much of my life returned to balance, and I looked and felt a hundred times better as a result."
Hilaria is among a slew of celebrities who've revealed their struggles with eating disorders just this past year. A few weeks ago Mel C explained how being a part of the Spice Girl led to her battle with anorexia. Before that, Zayn Malik opened up about his struggle with weight while he was still on tour with One Direction.
While being a celebrity has its perks, it's no easy feat. Packed schedules and heightened expectations make it extremely difficult to take care of yourself and put health first. Talking about these struggles and addressing them out in the open is a great way to let others know that they're not alone and don't need to feel ashamed for needing help. Props to celebs like Hilaria, Mel C and Zayn for taking the steps needed to help change the stigma surrounding eating disorders.