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Content warning: This story discusses eating disorders and mental health
NRL WAG Tahlia Giumelli has shared heartbreaking details of her “desperate” past battle with an eating disorder in an emotional post to Instagram.
The 29-year-old has two daughters with her fiancé, South Sydney Rabbitohs player Tom Burgess also shared some of the horrors of the modelling industry she had experienced.
"I was looking for an old photo recently when I came across photos from my younger years and my years modelling overseas," Tahlia began in her post.
"I was hit with the huge reality that I had significant issues with my body and how I dealt with food and exercise."
She explained that when she was a teenager in school she would "limit" the amount of food she would eat and do "so many sit ups and squats a day".
"I was 15. When I was 19 I would train twice a day 5 days a week and would take before and after photos, I would weigh my food and skip meals," Tahlia continued.
"When I was 22 I was so desperate to lose weight overseas I did a tea detox only to end up months later with a diagnoses of Crohn’s disease because it had set off a flare up ( I had the gene but I had set it off by upsetting my insides)."
Tahlia also revealed how the modelling industry overseas "shaped and encouraged my negative body image", detailing one particularly horrible incident.
"I was once pulled off a job late one night by a client (a pretty big name client) because a friend of theirs had seen me on a previous shoot and said it looked like I had put on weight and my face was chubby.
"I felt gutted and ashamed," she added, stressing that her agency has been her "biggest support" since she was 18.
"In London I was pulled in regularly measured with a tape measure, in LA I was made to stand on scales and constantly reminded to stay thin. The industry has changed for the better over the years. It’s not something I’ve voiced before.
"After having two children I have so much respect for my body and I’m much kinder now. I now train because I want to feel stronger. I eat because I want to nourish my body and give it the strength and energy it needs to care for two children."
She finished her post by encouraging others to be kind to their bodies.
"We should have so much respect for our bodies. They are powerful," she concluded.
Her post was met with a wave of support, with many thanking her for sharing her struggles.
"You’re incredible, thank you for sharing," fellow model Francesca Hung commented, while Keep it Cleaner's Steph Claire Smith left a series of heart emoji.
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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