Victoria's Secret models have opened up in the past about feeling enormous pressure to keep a certain figure when they're working. Erin Heatherton hasn't shied away from sharing details about her intense diet regimen. Now she's shifting her focus to sustainable fitness and healthy living.
Last year, Erin talked about the extreme measures she used to stay thin when she was walking the runway as a Victoria's Secret Angel. She said "things started to go south for me" when she turned 25 years old, and she realized it was more difficult to maintain her figure compared to when she was 18. She opted in for a diet pill called phentermine, which is an appetite suppressant that was later described to her as "bathwater meth." She even began injecting herself with HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone that is used in weight-loss products.
"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.
Erin Heatherton Opens a Pilates Studio and Talks about the "Constant Pressure To Stay Very Thin" As a Model
Erin has shifted her focus from modeling to opening a fitness studio in Chicago called Resistance. She penned a blog about the reasons why she chose to take this direction. She says fitness has become her "biggest source of fulfillment."
"There are both privileges and pressures to being successful as a young model," she wrote. "At the peak of my career, there was constant pressure to stay very thin. Even early on, maintaining industry standards was a full time job, but it was possible for my body type at the time. I took my fitness seriously and was motivated by the validation I received."
She chose to move back to Chicago to be closer to family and "away from the stressors that were affecting my negative spiral." Erin found transformation and self-improvement in fitness classes, and she eventually decided to open up her own Pilates studio.
"I started a fitness studio because it was a way for me to take something that I am genuinely passionate about and share it directly with the people around me," she said. "It was important to me that the next chapter of my life after modeling was more authentic. My passion was never lingerie, luxury products, or social media."
"My proudest accomplishment is not what my body looked like when it was framed by angel wings on a runway. My proudest accomplishment is building Resistance, channeling the challenges from my past into something that helps people feel good about their bodies."
Resistance offers Lagree classes taught by various instructors, including Erin.