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'I was always punishing myself': 'Riverdale' star Camila Mendes talks about struggling with bulimia

Raechal Shewfelt
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
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Riverdale star Camila Mendes is detailing her struggles with an eating disorder in a new interview.

“I’ve struggled with bulimia. It happened a little bit in high school and again when I was in college,” Mendes, 24, told Shape. “Then it came back when I started working in this industry with fittings all the time and watching myself on camera. I had such an emotional relationship with food and anxiety about everything I put into my body. I was so scared of carbs that I wouldn’t let myself eat bread or rice ever. I’d go a week without eating them, then I would binge on them, and that would make me want to purge.”

Mendes said she was forever criticizing herself.

“If I ate a sweet, I would be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m not going to eat for five hours now.’ I was always punishing myself,” she said. “I was even anxious about healthy food: Did I eat too much of the avocado? Did I have too many fats for one day? I was consumed with the details of what I was eating, and I always felt as if I was doing something wrong.”

Camila Mendes attends the Vancouver International Film Festival on Oct. 4, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
Camila Mendes attends the Vancouver International Film Festival on Oct. 4, 2018. (Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

The actress announced in October 2017 that she was working with Project Heal, a nonprofit organization that raises money for treatment of eating disorders, citing her own experience. In February, she went public with her decision to stop dieting, but only after seeking help.

“About a year ago, I got to a point when I realized I needed to see someone. So I went to a therapist, and she recommended a nutritionist as well, and seeing both of them changed my life,” Mendes said. “So much of the anxiety I had about food went away when I started learning more about nutrition. My nutritionist completely cured my fear of carbs. … She also cured my addiction to dieting. I was always on some kind of weird diet, but I haven’t been on one since. I’m very proud of myself.”

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november issue of @shape on stands 10/16! 🌺 photo by @peggysirota

A post shared by camila mendes (@camimendes) on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:11pm PDT

Mendes still deals with insecurity and the voices in her head that come along with it, she said, but she now knows better how to quiet them. She said that she wanted to speak out to help others, like Rihanna and Ashley Graham have done as well.


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