LIFE

Model Who Used To Eat 500 Calories A Day Shares Stunning Transformation

"Maybe I was made to share this story and spread the message of body love to all the women out there struggling."

08/04/2017 7:00 AM AEST | Updated 13/04/2017 4:11 AM AEST

Body Positive Hero is a series that celebrates the people who make the fashion industry ― and the world ― a more inclusive, body-positive place.

Horror stories from within the modeling industry are all too common, but each time a new one comes out, it serves as an opportunity to highlight the change that needs to happen toward a healthier, more inclusive environment. It also provides an outlet for the brave women who share those stories. 

Liza Golden-Bhojwani, a model who currently lives in India, has been in and out of the modeling industry over the years, most recently getting back to work in 2016. She recently shared harrowing side-by-side images of herself ― one from her first Fashion Week in 2012, and one from today. 

A little flashback Friday action for you. This caption will be long and won't fit, so if you'd like to read please find the rest in the comment section....The left side was me at the start of the peak of my career. My 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 apt 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 regime 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. 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. I made it through NYFW okay, no one had noticed any weight gain, but by the time I had gotten the LFW I could see the pounds starting to show both in the mirror and on the measuring tape, but I kept quiet obviously not wanting to sabotage myself. I found myself going to the grocery store and picking up raw vegetables to try and make up for the near two week binge I had in NY, but I didn't see any weight coming off no matter how "healthy" I was eating and no matter how many workouts I fit in. MFW came and I knew I was bigger and by bigger I mean a 35.5in hip rather than the 34.5in hip I started with in NY, I played it cool and just pretended everything was normal. I did end up booking shows, Dolce & Gabbana being one of them. Which I afterwards received online criticism about my thighs looking fat...Anyways PFW came about, and I found it impossible to resist those chocolate croissants 🙊 I went on many a casting with one exclusive option being on my schedule, but after meeting the client I knew the reason for me not nailing the gig, my size...

A post shared by Liza Golden-Bhojwani (@lizagoldenreal) on

In a lengthy accompanying caption, she heartbreakingly referred to her size in the left photo as what she “needed to be” to actually book runway jobs.

Bhojwani unraveled the struggle she faced during that first fateful string of shows, where she recalled eating 20 pieces of steamed edamame as a meal and binge eating her way up from a 34.5- to a 36.5-inch hip measurement throughout the month. She explained that as she traveled from London to Milan to Paris, the show offers dwindled. “I knew the reason for me not nailing the gig, my size,” she wrote.

I just wanted to put this out there... if you see me hashtag #unretouched on a photo, I truly mean it is not retouched at all. My husband shoots with me an i7plus or a Canon G9x in my personal pics...I have been modelling for 10 years and counting, so I know how to pose, angle my body, and I know what light works. All it really takes is good lighting to get a pretty amazing photo even with an iPhone! I have no reason to lie about photoshopping, I am constantly photoshopped in most of my photos because I am a model and at the end of the day whatever the client wants is what they get...On another note, for those of you who are constantly telling me to exercise save your breath! For the 20th time, I work out 5 times a week with a personal trainer, I have toned my stomach/bum up a lot in the past few weeks, clearly enough to make some of you think I'm sitting around photoshopping my candid insta pics. If you're looking for a size 0 model, unfollow me, get off my page, and follow someone else. That's not me, and never will be me again. I am the healthiest and strongest I have ever been. And that is all I care about. Before you open your mouth to comment on someone else's physical appearance on social media, look in the mirror and ask yourself "Do I love myself?". If you truly love yourself, you would never publicly abuse another human being with harsh words and comments. Freedom of speech does not mean you should feel free to abuse people. Spread love, not hate. #loveyourself #unretouched #naturallight #thisisme #effyourbeautystandards #shineon #bodypositive #lovetheskinyourein Photo credit: @thirdeyejedi 💫🌟🌞

A post shared by Liza Golden-Bhojwani (@lizagoldenreal) on

In 2014, she decided to revisit modeling and got into shape in a healthier way, through exercise and a more sustainable diet. But even though she called it the most fit she’d been in her life, it still wasn’t enough “for the likes of VS [Victoria’s Secret] or other brands.”

It was on a trip to India, Bhojwani explained, when things changed. She met her now husband, picked up all her belongings and moved there. Now not only does she have a healthier outlook on life, but she also has a totally different relationship with her body.

“The picture on the right of me as of right now, my body as it is,” she wrote. “Not perfect, not show ready or VS ready, not the best, but it is mine and my soul is happy.”

Bhowjani also wrote that now she works out, eats what she wants without feeling guilty about it and does it all solely for herself. “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,” she wrote. “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.”

While we wouldn’t exactly agree that Bhojwani doesn’t belong as the front of a major photoshoot, we are inspired by her honesty, her story and her words of self-love.

All white everything 👌🏽❤ #bodylove #loveyourself #effyourbeautystandards

A post shared by Liza Golden-Bhojwani (@lizagoldenreal) on

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