Reality star Abbie Chatfield has opened up about finally finding confidence in her own body, after struggling with eating disorder tendencies when she was younger.
Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle at the launch of The Body Shop’s 'Museum of Self Love' in Sydney recently, the Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise alumn revealed she was once stuck in a "punishment and reward" cycle when it came to food and exercise.
"I think growing up in that era where Misha Barton is on the front cover with her cottage cheese thighs I think that kind of led to a lot of eating disorder tendencies," Abbie tells us.
"But I also think that was kind of just the 'normal' culture of going to an all-girls Catholic school, where everyone would have these water bottles and we would put a dash of lemon water in it, with gum and an apple, and that was what we'd eat in a day."
Abbie said she has now learned to listen to her body when it comes to exercise, and not strive to 'lose weight' or 'look better'.
"I would run for 10kms every day with ankle weights and wrist weights so it was a punishment and rewards system. It wasn't a 'what do I feel like doing'," she explains.
"Whereas now, I wake up and I would be like 'I feel like doing yoga right now' so I'll do yoga, or I'm feeling a bit anxious, so I feel like going for a run - rather than 'I should run, to lose weight, to look better, to be more fit'."
Abbie added the key to the way she looks at self love is about not swinging too much towards one way or another.
"Not being overly body positive, or body neutral. This is how I look, how I look today. If I feel yuck, that's ok, if I feel great, that's amazing," she says.
"It's kind of like acknowledging it and then moving on from that thought if it's a negative one, if it's a good one we hold on to that thought."
During the same event, the It's A Lot podcast host also talked about why she now identifies as queer after coming out as bisexual after her stint on Bachelor In Paradise in 2020.
She said she felt like there was a lot of pressure on her to be equally attracted to men and women which she found problematic as it excluded non-binary and trans people.
"I always felt confused about that whole thing myself. And I now have to let go of that idea that I'm bi and move on to being queer," Abbie explained.
"There's been a lot of stages to my sexuality and me as a person, understanding my morals and who I am. I'd love to be able to tell 'little me' that it's ok to let go of parts [of yourself] that you loved so dearly before."
For confidential support about eating disorders and body image issues you can free call the Butterfly Foundation National Hotline on 1800 33 4673.
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