Erin Heatherton is opening up.
In a newly investigative podcast titled Fallen Angel, which dissects the controversy and cultural influence of Victoria’s Secret, the model revealed that she took extreme measures to maintain her weight while working with the brand.
Heather, who was an Angel between 2010 and 2013, told hosts Justin Herman and Vanessa Grigoriadis that “things started going south” when she turned 25, per People.
“There was this certain point where everything that I was doing just didn’t yield the same results. I was just a little bit bigger. In retrospect, that’s just biology and how the body works. You’re not the same size when you’re 18 to when you’re 25,” she explained.
She added that the pressure to stay thing pushed her “over the edge a little bit.” Erin began seeing a nutritionist who she says, “Started me on this diet pill called phentermine [an amphetamine-like prescription appetite suppressant], which my therapist later called ‘bathwater meth.’”
She continued, “I don’t know. I was just like, ‘Let me Lance Armstrong this because I’m renovating my condo. I can’t lose my job right now.’ I started injecting myself with HCG [a hormone produced during pregnancy called human chorionic gonadotropin].”
“I was just like, ‘Help me lose weight. What do people do?’ He suggested something this other model did that worked for her. This is this nutritionist to the stars, whatever. I don’t know. I started like a diabetic injecting my stomach every morning,” she said. “I look back at it as like emotional cutting because I was so against everything that I was doing, but I was just reluctantly doing it almost to feel the pain or feel how wrong it was,” Erin said.
“I don’t have any faith that these people really cared about me,” she said of working with the brand. “You know what I’m saying? It’s just about business.”
Erin said she has “worked a lot on forgiveness and “not being crazy”, adding that she has no “relationship” with the company, but wanted to help others struggling with body issues.
“I share my story again because I don’t want anyone to have an eating disorder or hate their bodies,” she said. “I know what that feels like. I speak out only for people that might hear me and think, ‘Hey, that makes sense,’ or maybe that might change their attitude towards how they treat themselves.”
She continued, “I think that aspirational [body] goals can exist without illness and eating disorders. When you have an eating disorder, you lose your freedom. When you are confined to this shape it consumes your life.”
In a statement to People, Victoria’s Secret said, “There is a new leadership team at Victoria’s Secret who is fully committed to the continued transformation of the brand with a focus on creating an inclusive environment for our associates, customers and partners to celebrate, uplift and champion all women.”