Camila Mendes has been very open about her experiences with dieting and disordered eating in the past. In a recent Instagram post made to honour the start of National Eating Disorder Awareness week, the Riverdale actress shared a heartfelt message about the moment she learned to love her body the way it is.
"About a year ago, I decided to stop dieting and chasing this idea of a body that I was conditioned to believe is the only acceptable shape," she captioned a photo. "I was never concerned with weight and numbers, but I cared a lot about having a flat tummy, no cellulite, and those 'give that girl a sandwich' arms that make you look slender from every angle."
The 24-year-old went on to point out that once she stopped focusing on weight loss, she began to put more emphasis on the state of her overall health. That meant consistently making sure that she was drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and eating the right amount of vegetables while not being afraid to indulge every once in a while. "I started trusting myself, and trusting that I care enough about my well-being to make healthy choices more often than not," she wrote. "But also I started allowing myself to make 'bad' choices. Because those made me feel free, and like I wasn't trapped in an unhappy lifestyle."
"Why should I care to look like a runway model when my curves got me lookin' like a damn fertile, renaissance goddess?"
Mendes recently opened up about her "addiction to dieting" in an interview with Shape. She told the magazine that she once had an "emotional relationship with food and anxiety" that fuelled her fear of eating carbs. "I'd go a week without eating them, then I would binge on them, and that would make me want to purge." She eventually sought out help from both a therapist and a nutritionist, who helped lessen her anxiety in regards to food and educate her on what a balanced diet looks like.
Mendes wrapped up her Instagram caption by reminding her fans of the importance of finding beauty in their own bodies. "There is a life for you in which you can be healthy in both mind and body," she wrote. "It's not always rainbows and butterflies, but whenever I struggle, I always come back to this: Why should I care to look like a runway model when my curves got me lookin' like a damn fertile, renaissance goddess?"
If you or someone you love are experiencing signs and symptoms of disordered eating, the National Eating Disorders Association has several resources, including 24/7 crisis support by texting "NEDA" to 741741