Hilaria Baldwin is getting candid about her past struggles with eating disorders. In her new book, The Living Cleary Method, the 32-year-old documents how anorexia and bulimia took a toll on her young dancer's body. “A long simmering struggle with anorexia and bulimia began to hold me firmly in its grip,” she said in the book that was released December 27. “By the time I was 20 years old, my 5-foot-3 frame was at least 20 lbs. under a healthy weight. My nails were brittle, my hair was falling out, my period was MIA, and my energy had tanked. I was miserable and desperate to feel better.”
She continued: “Without realizing it, I started drifting away from the playful connection to movement I’d enjoyed as a young child and into a different and darker kind of dynamic: pushing my body to its limits and commanding it to perform through pain or fatigue."
Since ending her days as a dancer at New York University, she turned to yoga, a practice that took her mind off of the stress of dancing, but still posed a challenge in her recovery. “I wish I could say that it was smooth sailing from this point on, but sometimes things have to get a whole lot worse before they get better,” she said. “Even while I was helping so many others, I still didn’t listen to my body. Extraordinarily long days became my reality; skipping meals was par for the course.”
Hilaria, who is married to actor Alec Baldwin, and is mother to three children, Carmen, three, Rafael, one, and three-month-old Leonardo, had to suffer a major injury in 2009, before she fully committed to healing her body. “My year of recovery turned out to be a year of waking up, in which I healed my two-decade-long eating struggle and began to treat myself right,” she explained about a fall that left her leg bone severed from her hip. “I started to find pleasure in engaging fully with the whole process of eating, instead of checking out or avoiding it.”
The yogi admits that it was about finding the perfect balance, literally and figuratively. “The imbalances that had been there for much of my life returned to balance, and I looked and felt a hundred times better as a result.”