Irish model and fitness influencer Maeve Madden has opened up about her battle with an eating disorder in the past.
In particular, she spoke about how her BMI was never low enough for her to be officially diagnosed as having an eating disorder, despite the fact she was clearly struggling.
Speaking with The Irish Mirror she said that with “eating disorders, or disordered eating, you don’t have to be like super tiny or absolute skin and bone to have a problem. I remember when I was actually really underweight, and my BMI was probably just under, but I looked like skin and bone.”
“But that wasn’t an issue, because I wasn’t severely under. So I suppose nobody ever thought anything was wrong, but mentally I was in a very dark place.”
The 32-year-old revealed that even though she was clearly underweight and putting intense pressure on herself, she was still working a a model and that; “I was never really seen as being really thin.”
“Everyone looked the way I looked. Which, when you look at it, is disgusting.”
She also spoke about one shoot in particular where she was on the cover of a fitness magazine; “I’ve a great photo of me behind the scenes of a fitness magazine, and you can literally see all the bones in my upper body, and my arm is like this big, and when you look and the front cover of the magazine, I’m on it.”
“And that’s what I mean, I am getting jobs looking this way, so obviously in my mind, I’m like I need to stay this way because i’m on the cover of a fitness magazine looking this tiny.”
Now Maeve has overcome many of her disordered eating habits she previously struggled with and is an advocate of living a fit and healthy lifestyle.
“I never had the opportunity to read someone else’s story, like all you would really read was ‘This person died of anorexia’ and you’d be like ‘oh my god that is really awful’ but there wasn’t that opportunity.”
“And that’s why, like, I usually post it, when you look at my feed, about every 18 squares, just to kind of remind people constantly, what they are going through. You can get help. Like what I went through I came out the other side.”
“It is really important for me to do that. It was a really hard journey and I’ll continue to talk about it as we go forward,” she added.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with an disordered eating you can contact BodyWhys for support.
Helpline: (01) 2107906