Camila Mendes details struggle with eating disorder: “I was really scared of eating carbs”
Camila Mendes (Camila Mendes) is open about seeking help for her eating disorder.
The Riverdale star, 28, sat down with Eileen Kelly for her Dear Media podcast Going Mental, where she talked about struggling with body image issues while filming the first season of her long-running CW series.
“I would watch every episode and think, ‘Oh my God, my stomach is there ……’ I was so insecure, and it really fueled my eating disorder,” she said. “I had one at different stages of my life. A little bit in high school, a little bit near the end of my senior year, and then a little bit in college, and then [in Riverdale’s] first season it came back.”
She adds, “When you’re in your early 20s and your body is fluctuating, my body hadn’t settled down. I’d look at myself and separate myself, my stomach, you know, my arms, my jaw, anything – I’d be obsessed with it. It gets in the way because when I’m performing in front of the camera …… your process is really bad.”
The Do Revenge actress says she first started seeing a therapist at this stage of her life to “cure” her eating disorder, as well as a nutritionist who “helped me get over my fear of bread.
“I was really afraid of eating carbohydrates,” Mendez says. “The result was I would avoid it for a long time, and then I would binge, eat a bunch, and then purge. So it was a terrible cycle, and she helped me get over it by introducing bread back into my life like, ‘Look, it’s not going to kill you. Now, it rarely comes up in therapy.”
Mendez also shared that it was hard to overcome her eating problems because when she lost weight, she was told, “You look great.”
“When I didn’t hear that, I thought I looked terrible – when no one commented on how thin I looked,” she added.
Mendez has long been open to struggling with self-esteem issues, and in 2017, she began working with Project HEAL, a nonprofit organization that raises money to treat eating disorders. At the time, she shared on Instagram that her passion for the organization stemmed from seeing her sister struggle with an eating disorder and the “symptoms” of having one.
In 2018, she announced in an Instagram post that she “has gone on a diet.
“I no longer believe there is a thinner, happier me on the other side of all the relentless work,” she said at the time. “Your body type is genetically influenced, and while eating nutrient-dense foods and exercising regularly will make you healthier, it won’t necessarily make you thinner, and the current system can’t distinguish that.”
Later that year, she shared more of her personal experience with her eating disorder with Shape, revealing that she “struggled with bulimia” during high school and college, describing it as “an emotional relationship with food and anxiety about everything I put into my body. “
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.