Liza Golden-Bhowjani doesn't believe you need to lose weight to be happier — sometimes it's the exact opposite

By Gabrielle Olya
April 11, 2017 10:19 AM
Credit: Source: Liza Golden-Bhojwani/Instagram

Liza Golden-Bhojwani is much happier now than she was at her thinnest.

The model and body positive advocate, 27, shared a “Flashback Friday” post on Instagram showing how her body transformed over the years once she stopped restricting herself to eating 500 calories day and began loving her body at its natural size.

“Recently I was looking for some documents, and I ended up stumbling upon my older modeling photos. I forgot how thin I actually was, and I was totally astonished by the comparison from then to now,” Golden-Bhojwani tells PEOPLE. “I felt really inspired to make a body positive post. I wanted to share my example of the fact that you don’t always have to lose weight to become healthy and happy, sometimes it is the other way around.”

In her post, Golden-Bhojwani shared that when she was in the peak of her modeling career in 2012, she fainted from consuming too few calories. She decided to begin eating more — though she still was only consuming 800 to 1,200 calories a day — but that led her to gain weight, and she stopped booking jobs because of it.

“I was constantly blaming and beating myself up for failing, and I would always be devising the next intense regime plan to get back down to working size,” she says.”It was really an obsessive vicious cycle that always lead me back to square one.”

Unable to get her weight back down to where she wanted it to be despite being strict about her diet and working out constantly, Golden-Bhojwani wrote that she was “in a bad state of mind, negative, depressed, overly emotional. I was miserable.”

Golden-Bhojwani decided to take a soul-searching trip to India, where she met her now-husband and decided to move there permanently. She also decided to stop fighting her body’s natural shape and began embracing it instead.

“I love that the curves that once haunted me and left me feeling ashamed and embarrassed of myself are now the reason I am filled with self-love, body positivity and pride,” she says.

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Golden-Bhojwani wanted to share her story for anyone who is struggling with loving their own body.

“Please do not conform to be something that someone else tells you should be in order to be ‘perfect,’ ” she says. “No one is perfect. Life is not about being perfect, it is about being the best and happiest version of yourself. There will always be some bad days, but stay focused on happiness that comes from within and you will find that you will also be radiant from the outside. We are all perfectly imperfect, and that’s a beautiful thing.”