As Bridget Malcolm worked her way through the modeling world, she was repeatedly pressured to lose weight, and enlisted the help of a “celebrity nutritionist” who put her on an 800-calorie-a-day diet, she revealed Monday.
The Victoria’s Secret model, 26, wrote on her blog that she worked with this unnamed nutritionist from 2014 to 2017 because she was “‘struggling’ ” to keep her body mass index (BMI) in the underweight range.
“This person took my fat measurements, and claimed me to be ‘a mess,’ ” Malcolm wrote. “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.”
She said the nutritionist put her on this 800-calorie plan that consisted of shakes, steamed vegetables and supplements that she had to buy directly from them.
“I happily went along with their plan for a few months, lost loads of weight, along with my period, my digestion and nearly my relationship,” Malcolm said.
Unsurprisingly, once she hit her goal weight and started to eat more food — three meals a day and mostly vegetables, but still no carbs — Malcolm said she gained all the weight back plus more in a week, and had to go back on the diet.
“I had pressure on me from all sides telling me to lose weight. So I went back. This time a little heavier,” she said. “My BMI had been moved from underweight to healthy for the first time since I was 14. In that sense this pseudo-nutritionist had done their job, albeit through an extremely unnecessary, roundabout way.”
And when she went back this time, the nutritionist’s words shocked her.
“I walked in, measurements were taken, they looked me in the eye and said, ‘you are fat,’ ” Malcolm recalled. “I was astounded! Never in all my years of modeling had someone come straight out and said I was fat.”
Against her better judgment, Malcolm said she still went back on the diet two more times, and battled through “lethargy, mild depression and anxiety,” plus panic attacks for months.
With the help of her husband, Malcolm eventually weaned herself off of the program and gave up dieting for good, though she had damaged her digestive and endocrine systems.
“I had completely lost any idea of what to eat — I had no idea when I was hungry or what I even liked,” she said. “But slowly, one step at a time (that’s also another story) I found myself where I am today.”
Malcolm said that she wants the fashion industry and dieting culture to change.
“I just want our bodies to not be these instruments of control anymore,” she said. “I want us to demand freedom. Because we will get there.”