The pressure to be a certain size or to look a certain way is hard enough in today’s world, without considering what it must be like for models in the fashion industry. But one former model, Liza Golden-Bhojwani, has shared an inspiring story to illustrate just how much her body changed after she stopped “fighting” it to fit the industry’s ideals, and how much happier she is now because of it. Read:
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…
I tried to just play it cool as much as I possibly could, pretend nothing was wrong, but looking back I think maybe there was 1 show I didn’t do too well and I was sent home earlier than all the other girls who were booking shows left and right. Needless to say I had a successful show season, but I certainly didn’t conquer to my full potential due to my weight gain. Shortly thereafter, shows were complete and things moved on, I was never questioned about my weight gain, just told that next season would be here soon and I would do even better then. Well fast forward a few weeks, shows were about to start again and vogue.com named me as one of the six girls in the freshman model class of 2013 , which if you know the industry , is a little bit of a deal. As it turns out I ended up being a 36.5 in hip by the time castings started and I was pulled out of shows, because at that measurement you will just simply not book any shows. People wondered what the hell happened, where did she go? Where was she on castings? Did she get an exclusive? The truth was no I didn’t get an exclusive, I just POOF disappeared. I had seriously just given up on my short lived HF career, because I just simply could not hack it. I don’t know why of all people I was just unable to keep up with the diets and the regimes. I thought I was weak minded, I didn’t care enough, or maybe I just didn’t want it enough. I beat myself up for a long time, playing it over and over again in my head how I completely failed. So much was right there in front of me and I just let it go because I could not let go of my worst enemy, FOOD. I let my agent down, I let my clients down and most of all I let myself down. I went back to the commercial side of things, shooting catalogues and .com’s where you don’t have to be a complete rail to book jobs. I was pretty invincible in the fashion world. In 2014, I got a kick, a rev of my engine, I wanted to get in shape again, I was over giving up. I wanted in again, but in a much healthier way. And I did just that, I worked my ass off day in and day out in the gym with different trainers and classes. I was strict about my diet, but I wasn’t fully starving myself like I had two years ago, I was eating more but I still kept a diary of exactly what I ate everyday and I would tally up the calories at the end of the day. In 2012, I was having about 500 calories a day, whereas here in 2014, I was having about 800-1200 depending on my mood and hunger patterns. I was the fittest I ever was in my entire career at this point, I had 6 pack abs, but still I wasn’t fit enough for the likes of VS or other brands. It was really a struggle, as I saw so many other girls just getting there so easily, eating whatever they wanted and barely working out while I was busting my ass. A really amazing opportunity came up with a casting for a pretty big swimsuit job, but sadly a major obstacle came in the way, and that too was taken away from me. Again the pattern started, I was back at square one. I really just couldn’t understand it at this point. Bad luck? Or maybe I was just not cut out for this. Maybe I am not meant to be this person. Maybe I am not meant to be here. I was really in a bad state of mind, negative, depressed, overly emotional. I was miserable.
Friends came to town from India and I decided I wanted to go back to Indua and do a little soul searching, just get away from it all for a couple of weeks. 6 weeks to be exact. Well as fate would have it in my first two weeks in India I met a man. A man who would change my life forever. A man who would put a stop to my misery and bring happiness into my heart and into my life. Fast forward to the present day. I ended up marrying that man, I got rid of my NYC life, I moved everything to India, I relocated my dogs and myself to India….2016 was the first time in 3 years where I finally picked myself up and said you know what F this shit I am going to get back to work no matter what. I was struggling to lose weight again, and one day I just thought … Why am I fighting against my body? 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.
By Liza Golden Bhojwani