wellness

The Melbourne Cup cleanse that left Georgia Love "starving, freezing and miserable."

If you follow Georgia Love on Instagram, you’ll know she’s a regular fixture at the Melbourne Cup.

Like most women in the public eye, the former Bachelorette has to wade through a pile of body shaming and ‘is she pregnant?’ headlines and media articles unpicking the way her body looks every time she attends things like the Spring Racing Carnival.

When part of your job is to show up at events and have your photo taken, you’d think the pressure to look good would be all-consuming.

Speaking to Mamamia, the Ten presenter and Palmer’s ambassador said her worst Melbourne Cup experience was before we knew who she was, when the loudest voice commenting on her appearance was her own.

“I would’ve been 26, the year before The Bachelorette, and [the Melbourne Cup] was my first big outing after having my heart broken six months beforehand – it was a long term relationship that was very serious, I wasn’t in a good place for a while. When I finally started feeling better and like I could get out and face people, I wanted to look really good so I thought I’d do a juice cleanse before the event,” the 30-year-old said.

“I was living in Tasmania at the time, so going to the Melbourne Cup was a big deal… I’d spent heaps of money on a Manning Cartel dress. I was in a really bad head space and, all jokes aside, I genuinely felt like I needed to look really good so my ex would see photos of me and think he’d made a mistake.”

ADVERTISEMENT

We’ve all been there, when you’re going somewhere nice (or even just on a night out) after a breakup and you want the person to see you living your best life on social media. For Georgia, this meant “losing a few kilos of water weight and doing all those things that a juice cleanse is meant to do”, but by 11am on the first day of the three-day fad diet, she realised she’d “made a mistake”.

“The things that really surprised me about [the cleanse] were, I felt freezing cold because you’re just putting cold liquid into your body all day, and I felt like my teeth felt really furry and disgusting. I felt horrible, I was cold and hungry and I felt really anti-social. My emotions were all over the place, I was getting antsy, really grumpy,” she said.

“I had feelings like, why did I do that? Why have I just put myself through this for three days and felt cold, hungry, miserable and dizzy, when the benefits didn’t outweigh the negatives?”

On the morning of the event, which included a Melbourne Cup breakfast, Georgia said any ‘results’ she achieved during the cleanse were undone by eating a normal breakfast. More than the physical consequences, the mental and emotional outcomes of undertaking a fad diet to impress someone else taught her a valuable lesson she’s grateful she learnt before going on reality TV.

“I’m an advocate for no quick fixes and no fad, short term diets. The thing with these quick fixes is, if there was a fad out there that actually worked, it wouldn’t be a fad.”

“In hindsight, I would’ve told heartbroken Georgia that you don’t need to do this kind of thing and there are many more important people to try to impress than a stupid ex boyfriend… who knows if he saw the bloody photos!”

Georgia’s not alone in having tried a fad diet to shed weight quickly. A 2017 Dietitians Association of Australia report found 46 per cent of Australians were currently on a diet, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2012, around two-thirds of people who reported being on a diet (nine per cent of the population aged 15 years and over) indicated they were on a diet to lose weight.

Potentially more harmful than the physical consequences of yo-yo or crash dieting, research published by The Conversation shows specifically women who yo-yo diet (which was defined in the study as intentionally losing 5kg then regaining that amount) appeared to experience increased symptoms of depression.

Listen to Georgia speak more to her experiences of fad diets and why she wouldn’t recommend them to anyone below. Post continues after video.

ADVERTISEMENT
Video by Supplied

Since that experience and going on The Bachelorette, Georgia has attended countless events. Unfortunately, that exposure comes with people on the internet she’s never met thinking they are entitled to have a say on her shape and size. Surprisingly, she said the pressure to look great was worse before she became a public figure, when she was her harshest critic.

“Back then, the pressure to be a certain size very much came from myself. It’s sad that [going on a fad diet] is what the everyday person does… it wasn’t because I was feeling pressure from media or photographers or online trolls to look a certain way, it was me being really negative head space and thinking it was something I had to do.”

“The main difference since the show is, I’m in a great relationship, I’m happy within myself, I’ve grown up and become a more confident person and I don’t feel like I need to impress somebody. I’m in a head space now where I don’t care what other people think I look like, because I’m happy with how I look. There’s more people telling me how I should look now, but that’s less people I should listen to.”

If she could go back and talk to her 26-year-old self, Georgia said she’d say the same thing she would tell anyone thinking of embarking on a fad diet to lose weight or alter their appearance for one event.

“The way you feel in yourself – I’m not talking about the way you look, but the way you feel in your happiness and confidence – shines through. That will make you look good no matter what size you are, height you are, or what you’re wearing. For me, the times when I’ve been the thinnest is when I’ve been really unhappy.”

“If anyone thinks they need to drop a few kilos or wear a certain brand to look a certain way in any way, shape or form, you’re not going to enjoy yourself, whether that pressure is coming from yourself or someone else. Don’t let anyone else dictate how you feel.”

If this post has raised any issues for you, please seek professional help or contact The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Palmer’s have worked collaboratively with Georgia to tell the story of “The Nature of Georgia Love”. Together, we aim to empower women to learn from life’s experiences and encourage them to stay true to themselves, remembering that these mistakes and the lessons learned are all part of the nature of you.

Have you ever tried to lose weight for an event before? How did it affect you mentally, and do you think it was worth it?

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???