Fashion

Victoria’s Secret model Bridget Malcolm shares how giving up dieting set her free

Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm shares how giving up dieting set her free
(Picture: Gotham/GC Images)

The modeling industry isn’t exactly a body-positive space.

Models are shamed for their size, expected to lose weight at breakneck speed, and made to feel like objects valued only for their visual appeal.

It’s tough to love your body at any size when you can lose work if you get bigger.

For Bridget Malcolm, a model who’s walked the runway for Victoria’s Secret, body-acceptance could only come when she gave up dieting.

On her blog the model shares why she decided to stop checking how much she weighed and measured, and how that choice set her free.

‘In August this year I made myself a promise,’ writes Bridget. ‘It was time to make peace with my body.

Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm shares how giving up dieting set her free
(Picture: Adam Jeffery/CNBC)

‘I threw away my scales, my measuring tape and my body checking. I threw away all my clothes from when I was at my smallest. I deleted all the gym selfies from my instagram, and all of the “progress” shots from my phone.

‘Basically, I wanted no point of reference any more of a time when I was smaller, or larger. I just wanted to stop looking in mirrors and telling myself that I was “too fat”, and “not doing enough”.’

That’s a huge step in body acceptance. Getting rid of photos and measurements stops you from comparing your body to how it was previously, helping to ease the pressure to ‘get back’ to a certain size or shape.

While there are still bodies in adverts and on TVs and out in the general world to compare yourself to, just getting rid of how you previously looked as a goal makes a huge difference.

Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm shares how giving up dieting set her free
(Picture: Gotham/GC Images)

‘I was attempting to undo twelve years of being told to lose weight and “tone up”,’ explains Bridget.

‘So I began to relax into eating well; healthily, because I feel better that way, but no longer skipping meals, and no longer restricting volume.

‘I let go of any attempt to diet, and stopped having foods that were “bad” or “good”. I stopped allowing guilt to exist, and I stopped hard workouts altogether.

‘Working out became something to make me stronger, not something to diminish me. I was going to give my brain and body a chance to exist on the same page for once.’

All that sounds brilliant – but it wasn’t easy. It’s hard to break out of a mindset that’s been hammered into you for years.

‘I cannot tell you how many times I went to bed with my head whirling – trying to get me to latch onto how much I ate at dinner, or during the day, or trying to convince myself to change my diet, start training hard again, start tracking my size, just start doing more,’ writes Bridget.

Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm shares how giving up dieting set her free
(Picture: Bridget Malcolm)

‘It felt like two steps forward, one and three quarters step back.’

Change came when Bridget was advised to stop focusing on the externals and start thinking of the bigger picture – to see herself as more than just how her body looked.

‘From that point on, I said no to anything negative and body related,’ she writes. ‘If body talk came up with friends, I shut it down and refused to engage.

‘If I felt the need to look in a mirror, I read a book instead.

‘When I was ordering food for dinner, I ordered what I wanted.

‘And strangely enough – the need to gorge myself is slowly fading away. I was ok with being done when I was full. When food isn’t a scarcity we stop feeling so desperate around it.

Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm shares how giving up dieting set her free
(Picture: Bridget Malcolm)

‘But most importantly, when I saw my body reflected back at me, I said nice things to myself. I chose to empower my self.

‘Because the fact is, life is way too short to be focused on the exterior. Time spent worrying about your size is time wasted. There are far bigger fish to fry in the world than your thigh size. There are so many better uses for your brain.’

Bridget finishes her story by explaining that her journey is still ongoing – being body positive isn’t as simple as flicking a switch – but that it’s made her freer in every sense.

More: Fashion

‘There is a life to be lived. We have so much to offer to the world – every single one of us – and we get missed when we get caught up in egotistical pursuits,’ says Bridget.

‘I never realized how much time and energy I would spend on dieting. I am much freer now, and it is a fantastic feeling. I wish I had discovered it sooner – but late is better than never.

‘I have gained weight. And I do not give a f*** about it. My life is so much more than my jean size.

‘And every day when that voice in my head tries to tell me I am worthless, it gets a little easier to shut it down. I am setting myself free slowly.’

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Original Article

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