This model’s ‘transformation’ will remind you to love your body

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  • So much love for this.

    Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

    Often when we see ‘transformation’ pictures on Instagram, they’re accompanied by captions about ‘eating clean, training mean, getting lean’, yada yada yada.

    There’s an abundance of social media stars flaunting their rock-hard abs during a sweaty Crossfit class, while we guiltily scroll through our Insta feeds in our pyjamas having just eaten our yearly recommended sugar allowance in Cadbury chocolate.

    One model has gone viral thanks to her refreshingly honest post about her own ‘transformation’ – but rather than the regular side-by-side weight loss snap, she has shared her own journey of self-acceptance.

    Liza Golden-Bhojwani has been modelling for ten years, and in this Instagram post she has showed her fans how much her body has changed since 2013. In the first, she is at her modelling ‘peak’, eating just 500 calories a day and yet being booked on lots of amazing catwalk shows.

    But she writes: ‘After fainting one night in my [apartment] while preparing one of my very low cal meals (I think it was 20 pieces of steamed edamame if I remember correctly), I called it quits with the diet and workout regime I was put on and decided I could do it on my own.

    ‘I thought to myself, I can still be this thin, but I’ll just eat a little more so I don’t feel horrible.’

    However, after depriving herself of so much for so long, Liza explains she started eating more until she stopped being booked due to weight gain.

    A little flashback Friday action for you. This caption will be long and won't fit, so if you'd like to read please find the rest in the comment section….The left side was me at the start of the peak of my career. My first proper fashion week where I was actually the size I needed to be. I was booking amazing shows that one never thinks they actually could, walking with girls who I once looked up to, it was a serious adrenaline rush…but after fainting one night in my apt whilst preparing one of my very low cal meals (I think it was 20 pieces of steamed edamame if I remember correctly), I called it quits with the diet and workout regime I was put on and decided I could do it on my own. I thought to myself, I can still be this thin, but I'll just eat a little more so I don't feel so horrible. Well, eating a little more turned into eating nearly a bag full of almonds, which then turned into eating full size meals, which then turned into a full blown binge. I was craving every single food you could imagine and I was giving in to every craving even though I knew this was such an important time in my career. I made it through NYFW okay, no one had noticed any weight gain, but by the time I had gotten the LFW I could see the pounds starting to show both in the mirror and on the measuring tape, but I kept quiet obviously not wanting to sabotage myself. I found myself going to the grocery store and picking up raw vegetables to try and make up for the near two week binge I had in NY, but I didn't see any weight coming off no matter how "healthy" I was eating and no matter how many workouts I fit in. MFW came and I knew I was bigger and by bigger I mean a 35.5in hip rather than the 34.5in hip I started with in NY, I played it cool and just pretended everything was normal. I did end up booking shows, Dolce & Gabbana being one of them. Which I afterwards received online criticism about my thighs looking fat…Anyways PFW came about, and I found it impossible to resist those chocolate croissants ? I went on many a casting with one exclusive option being on my schedule, but after meeting the client I knew the reason for me not nailing the gig, my size…

    A post shared by Liza Golden-Bhojwani (@lizagoldenreal) on

    ‘I tried to just play it cool … but I was sent home earlier than all the other girls who were booking shows left and right.

    ‘I just simply could not hack it… I thought I was weak minded, I didn’t care enough, or maybe I just didn’t want it enough.’

    Despite being named as one to watch in the modelling industry, her weight gain made her ‘disappear’ and she started shooting for catalogues where ‘you don’t have to be a rail to book jobs.’ Once again she attempted to put herself through a gruelling exercise and eating regime, eating just 800-1200 calories a day to book jobs with the likes of Victoria’s Secret.

    But, once again, she didn’t make the cut. And this is when Liza had a lightbulb moment.

    ‘One day I just thought… why am I fighting against my body? Why don’t I just go in the same direction? Stop forcing my own agenda and just listen to my body.

    ‘And that’s what I did, slowly slowly I was coming into my true body form. My natural self, not my forced self.

    ‘The picture on the right is me as of right now, my body as it is. Not perfect, not show ready or VS ready, not the best, but it is mine and my soul is happy.’

    Liza admits that while she works out around five days a week now, she does it for herself and because she enjoys it. She also doesn’t restrict her calories either, eating ‘what [she] wants and feeling no guilt.’

    This is such an important story of acceptance, and should serve as a reminder that we should love and listen to our bodies. And considering that the latest Pitch Perfect 3 photo was criticised this week for size discrimination, it encourages us to have a very relevant conversation about body positivity.

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