As a Victoria’s Secret model, Bridget Malcolm knows all about the pressures in the fashion industry to be slender and fit while modeling. In fact, the runway model recently opened up on her blog about a specific incident in her career that led to some serious health issues—all due to an expert-recommended diet.
After “struggling” to keep her body mass index (BMI) in the underweight range, Malcolm sought out a celebrity nutritionist who required her to adhere to an 800-calorie-per-day diet.
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“This person took my fat measurements, and claimed me to be ‘a mess,’” Malcolm wrote on her blog. “My BMI was in the underweight range. To be honest, I’m not really sure what a mess even means. Any trained dietician would probably recommend me putting on a few pounds. But, this person thought I needed ‘all the help I could get to lose that pesky extra weight that was regulating my hormones and keeping me healthy.”
Malcolm’s 800-calorie diet was limited to shakes, steamed vegetables and supplements bought directly from her “celebrity nutritionist,” who Malcolm claims was more of an “alternate health practitioner.” After going along with the diet plan for a few months, Malcolm did end up losing weight, but unfortunately, she also lost her period and a properly operating digestion system.
However, once she hit her goal weight, Malcolm ended the strict diet and started having three meals a day consisting of mostly vegetables. After readjusting to a normal food plan again, Malcolm claims she gained all the weight back in just a week, forcing her to revisit the harsh diet.
“I had pressure on me from all sides telling me to lose weight. So I went back. This time a little heavier,” Malcolm explains. “I walked in, measurements were taken, they looked me in the eye and said, ‘You are fat.’” Regrettably, Malcolm says she went on the diet two more times after this, resulting in damage to her digestive and endocrine system.
While this diet was recommended to Malcolm by a so-called “expert,” it’s far from healthy. In fact, according to dietician, Keri Glassman of The Nutritious Life, it could lead to some serious bodily damage. “Restricting your eating habits every day might make you lose weight short term, but you’ll likely be starving your body of the nutrients it needs to thrive, which can throw off hormonal balance, and impede on your bodies natural biological processes it needs to perform and function at its best,” explains Glassman. “Also a super low-calorie diet like this can slow your metabolism and cause cravings and binge eating.”
Ultimately, by sharing her story, Malcolm is hoping to spark change in the fashion industry and remove these “fake doctors” from practice. “I just want our bodies to not be these instruments of control anymore,” she wrote. “I want us to demand freedom. Because we will get there.”