The ac­tress, au­thor, and ac­tivist shares how suf­fer­ing from an eat­ing disor­der changed her def­i­ni­tion of healthy.

Shape (Singapore) - - Front Page -

To cel­e­brate her de­but on the cover of Shape, she went to din­ner with two el­e­men­tary school friends af­ter the shoot and rem­i­nisced about how awk­ward they all felt about their bod­ies as teens. “We wore boys’ board shorts over our swim­suits!” she says. The irony that Lily, 28, was un­wa­ver­ingly con­fi­dent and at ease on set all day in one re­veal­ing swim­suit af­ter an­other was not lost on her. “I never dreamed I’d be pos­ing in a bikini on the cover of Shape. It’s a com­plete 180 for me. It’s a mag­a­zine about what it means to be healthy,” she says.

You see, for Lily, the strug­gle to get healthy was, and still is, real. And she’s re­fresh­ingly can­did about it. Although she’s fit and ra­di­ant now, for more than half a decade she suf­fered in si­lence from an eat­ing disor­der that had her re­strict­ing her in­take of food, binge­ing and purg­ing, abus­ing lax­a­tives and diet pills, and per­haps more sig­nif­i­cantly, hid­ing it all from her friends and fam­ily.

But af­ter years of de­struc­tive be­hav­iour, Lily, who is very close to her mum (her dad is mu­si­cian Phil Collins), re­alised she needed to be held ac­count­able. So she came out about her disor­der. “My per­spec­tive on other peo­ple’s view of me was based on this disor­der be­ing a se­cret. But the more open I be­came about it, the more I was able to be my­self,” she says.

Speak­ing her truth to her in­ner cir­cle even­tu­ally set Lily free to share her story with the world – and be­cause of her jour­nal­ism back­ground, she had the chops to do it.

At 15, she be­came a cor­re­spon­dent for Elle

Girl UK (she spent a lot of her child­hood in Eng­land), and in 2008, she re­ported on the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion for Nick­elodeon. She was later a con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor for Cos­moGirl and the Los An­ge­les

Times mag­a­zine. Her re­cently pub­lished book,

Un­fil­tered, de­tails her ex­pe­ri­ence with her dis­ease and is “even more hon­est than I was in­tend­ing,” she says. “I didn’t re­alise I’d cov­ered so much.” But she was ready to talk. And that’s a good thing, be­cause Lily Collins has a lot to say. Here are the chap­ters on her re­cov­ery.

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