During his final months as part of One Direction, Zayn Malik was forced to deny rumours that he had a drug addiction. However, in his new autobiography, Zayn, the former boy band member explains that his gaunt appearance was actually the result of an eating disorder. This is the first time he has spoken about his struggle.
According to The Sun, Zayn says:
“When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, before the final tour, I can see how ill I was.”
“Something I’ve never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder.
“It wasn’t as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that, I’d just go for days – sometimes two or three days straight – without eating anything at all. It got quite serious, although at the time I didn’t recognise it for what it was.
“I think it was about control. I didn’t feel like I had control over anything else in my life, but food was something I could control, so I did.
“I had lost so much weight I had become ill. The workload and the pace of life on the road put together with the pressures and strains of everything going on within the band had badly affected my eating habits.”
Over the course of 2016, Zayn has cancelled three shows due to anxiety, including performances in London and Dubai.
However, Zayn is working hard to overcome the anxiety that has plagued him. “The plan is to start performing smaller venues and work my way up from there. This anxiety isn’t going to get the better of me.”