Healing from the past. Teresa Palmer opened up about her previous unhealthy relationship with food and shared that becoming a mother inspired her to learn to love her body.
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The Hacksaw Ridge star, 34, revealed on an episode of the “Mamamia Me Before You” podcast earlier this week that she battled orthorexia from 2009 to 2012.
“I was incredibly clean with my eating, so I didn’t have anorexia or bulimia, but I had something different, which is when you become so obsessed with the amount of calories you’re putting into your body, everything had to be of the highest quality,” Palmer explained. “I wouldn’t eat anything stripped of its nutritional value.”
She added, “It was exhausting, utterly exhausting, to log every calorie and to just be so overly conscious of the food I was putting into my body.”
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, orthorexia is described as “an obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating.”
Symptoms include cutting out food groups, compulsively checking ingredients lists and spending hours each day thinking about food one might be served.
Palmer recalled that her disorder began in 2008 when her agent suggested she start working out after paparazzi photos were taken of the Warm Bodies star in a bikini.
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“She said, ‘Do you know what? You should start working out, because that’s a part of your job. You need to make sure that you look really good.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I thought I did look good,’ ” she said.
Palmer explained that she now realizes that she didn’t need to take such drastic measures to lose weight.
“The scary thing is that I’ve always been such a small person,” the Take Me Home Tonight actress said. “I look back on the photos that she’s talking about and I was just so little still. Yes, I wasn’t perfectly sculpted, but that really set off this huge whirlwind of unhealthy obsession surrounding food.”
However, Palmer found herself “liberated” from the disorder once she started having children. She and her husband, Mark Webber, share sons Bodhi Rain, 6, Forest Sage, 3, and 15-month-old daughter, Poet Lake.
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“My body just blossomed and I had this big belly and I could feel life within me, and it was just incredible seeing what my body could do,” she said. “I was getting stretch marks on my boobs and cellulite all over my bum and the backs of my thighs.”
The Australia native added that pregnancy gave her a new appreciation for her body, which she now views as a beautiful part of motherhood.
“I was finally liberated from these judgements that I had surrounding my body, which I realized had existed since I was … a teenager,” Palmer said. “Since being a mum, I’ve embraced it all. The lumps and the bumps and the stretch marks… it’s a map of my journey of bringing my babies into the world.”
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