“I was genuinely depressed because I was running so hard and I felt like my body was defying me, ” she tells. “And I got to a phase where 1 night I got home from a workout, and I remember look at this place my food and thinking, ‘Maybe I should just not eat.'”
Heatherton parted ways with Victoria’s Secret shortly after the 2013 runway show.
“I realized I couldn’t used to go into the world — parading my body and myself in front of all these women who look up to me — and tell them that this is easy and simple and everyone can do this, ” she explains. “I’m willing to sacrifice my pride, in a sense, and my privacy because I know that if I don’t was talking about it, I could be withholding information that would really help women.”
“It hurts too much to keep it in, and that’s why Im not keeping it in now, ” she adds about why she’s decided to be so open with her body struggles.
ET has reached out to Victoria’s Secret, and the company had no comment.
Last month, Heatherton — who previously dated Leonardo DiCaprio in 2011 for approximately one year — posted this Instagram shot of herself showing off her still astonishing body in a pair of bikini bottoms, sporting a T-shirt reading, “Empowered by failure.”
“The breakdown to breakthrough moment in my life enabled me to become the real version of myself, ” she wrote. “In my moment of ‘failure, ‘ I stood in the face of adversity. I was struggling with my body image and the pressures to fulfill the demands of perfectionism upon me. I am not perfect. Through this struggle, however, I received the strength to love myself. I stood in my power.”
“I look back on that moment now, and I embrace it, ” she continued. “This feeling I once perceived as ‘failure’ was, in truth, a powerful awakening for me to stand behind my purpose in life. I stepped away from hiding behind a fabricated version of myself. I no longer set actions behind my fears and insecurities. I made a option to redirect my energy to be a catalyst for change. To create a channel for women to become the real versions of themselves, along with me . … In the end, if you arent being true to yourself, then what the f ** k is the phase? “
Heatherton is still modeling, and appeared in Sports Illustrated ‘s Swimsuit Issue this year. And judging by the super sexy photos, we’d tell she seems better than ever.
WATCH: Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez, Behati Prinsloo Freak Out Ahead of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
Last November, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid built their highly anticipated Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debuts, and Gigi got emotional when she heard the news that she was chosen to walk the runway.