Health & Fitness

Model and blogger Steph Claire Smith posts honest video about binge eating and learning to love herself

She’s on the right track now.

By: Erin Cook

Steph Claire Smith is a body positive Australian model, YouTuber and co-founder of health brand Keep It Cleaner. But you probably knew that already. With 1.2 MILLION Instagram followers, Steph has a huge following amongst young women, who keep track of her daily workouts, meals and jet-set lifestyle.

From the outside looking in, her life looks picture perfect. For the most part, it probably is – girlfriend has got it going on! But, just like the rest of us, the Steph uses the social-media platform as a highlight real.

Recently, on her YouTube channel, the model posted an honest AF video about what you don’t see on Instagram: her struggles with body image and journey to mindful eating.

Steph posted her story in the hope it would help others on their journey to loving themselves and living a healthy lifestyle. “It's a very personal [video]” she said on Instagram. “If there's anyone struggling with body image issues or eating issues, maybe it's your kind of video.”

This is Steph’s story so we’ll let her do the talking…

On feeling insecure about her body

She started to feel insecure about her body when she “started modelling – for obvious reasons.”

“We’re denied from jobs more than we’re accepted so you have to get over this bump when you start your modelling career that you’re going to get every job and that’s okay. Learning that you’re not everyone’s ‘type’ but that doesn’t mean that you’re not pretty or your body’s not right. It just means for that job, you weren’t right for the job. It could be for a number of different reasons.”

On modelling in new York

“When I got to New York, I saw my agency. Pretty much first up they told me that I had to lose weight and it was something that I hadn’t really heard before. As I said, I was working really well in Australia, I was busy, which was awesome and I was really proud of myself.”

“I started working out even more so than I already was… I started to not want to eat out. I’d say no to friends inviting me out just because I wasn’t in control of what I was going to be eating sometimes."

On losing weight for her modelling agency

“I was losing weight and I got to a point where I thought, ‘wow, I have not been this measurement since I signed [with my agency] when I was 18.’ But I got there and they measured me and I was still over the measurements they wanted me to be so they told me to keep going. They told me to stop doing things like squats, that I should try running and yoga, and eating less protein.”

On forming an unhealthy relationship with food that led to binge eating

“All of that stress of being super strict led me to binge eating… Nothing that entered my mouth was unhealthy but the amount that I was eating was very unhealthy."

"I would wake up and eat breakfast straight away – and it would be something healthy, like a healthy granola... but I would have like so, so much peanut butter… and then pretty much five minutes later I would probably make a smoothie. After that, I’d probably see the peanut butter again and have another spoonful. Then it would come to lunchtime and I’d get my lunch and I’d eat it… As so as I got home, I’d eat snacks… grab something else that I bought from Wholefoods like corn chips and just eat…"

Know that when I say overeating, I’m not talking about you’ve gone out with friends and there’s this amazing feast or you’ve got people over and you have all these cheese platters and there’s beautiful foods and you just feel like indulging and sometimes you just can’t stop yourself. That’s okay to do every now and again, that doesn’t mean that you’ve got an eating disorder.

My problem was that I was doing it all the time and I was doing it for every meal of the day and in my head I kept telling myself it was okay. But then I would later hate myself for it. It was such an unhealthy cycle.

On mindful eating and learning to love herself

“I’ve learnt about mindful eating and exercise being used to just be a part of your healthy routine and you do it because you love it – and what it does for your skin and your energy and your mood. You don’t just exercise because of physical things.”

Watch the full video below.