Alix Earle always felt that she’d had a healthy relationship with food. Discussing the topic on her “Hot Mess” podcast, Earle shared that she’d never been one to restrict food or go on diets. “I just kind of thought it was like, eat what you want, eat what you love,” she said.

During high school, she recalled, some of her friends began going on crash diets. As she observed their efforts, that kind of behavior gradually became normal to her. “It was a very, very toxic environment when it came to girls’ relationship with food,” she said. Before long, she found herself joining them on a quest to lose weight. Over time, restricting food and counting calories evolved into binge-eating and, ultimately, bulimia. Meanwhile, she also began developing body dysmorphia whenever she looked in the mirror. Realizing the dangerous path she’d placed herself on, she came to a decision. “I knew I needed to stop, and I did,” she said. “I stopped making myself throw up.”

Once she began attending the University of Miami, her new friends became concerned about her eating habits and schooled her on how unhealthy her behavior was. That positive reinforcement eventually led her to move past the toxic relationship that she’d developed with eating. “I’m able to be at this great place now with food where I don’t really think about this at all,” she added. 

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