Teresa Palmer is opening up about an eating disorder she suffered from.
The 34-year-old Australian actress revealed in a new interview that from 2009 to 2012 she suffered from the eating disorder orthorexia – which is “an obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating,” according to National Eating Disorder Association.
“So I had orthorexia,” Teresa shared on the Mamamia Me Before You . “Not many people have heard of it, but it is an eating disorder.”
Symptoms of orthorexia include compulsively checking ingredients lists, cutting out entire food groups and spending hours each day thinking about food one might be served, among others.
“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,” Teresa explained. “I wouldn’t eat anything stripped of its nutritional value…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.”
Teresa said it all started back in 2008 after an agent told her she needed to started working out more after paparazzi snapped pictures of her wearing a bikini.
“The scary thing is that I’ve always been such a small person,” Teresa 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.”
Teresa said that once she became a mom, her relationship with food changed. Teresa and husband Mark Webber share three kids – sons Bodhi, 6, and Forest, 3, and daughter Poet, 1.
“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,” Teresa said of pregnancy. “I was getting stretch marks on my boobs and cellulite all over my bum and the backs of my thighs.”
“I was finally liberated from these judgements that I had surrounding my body, which I realized had existed since I was … a teenager,” Teresa continued. “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.”