In an interview with Fabulous Digital, the model and influencer spoke out about the dangers of restrictive eating regimes, having tried her fair share of them as a teen.
“I would look at magazines and the headlines, ‘lose a stone in a month’ or whatever it might be and I would try the celebrity diets like the maple syrup diet,” she said.
“Me and my friends from school would take in these big litre bottles of lemon and pepper and maple syrup and try and drink that. I also tried the Atkins diet but I didn’t really have the resources to do so, so I would just eat ham for a week.”
She’d also exercise obsessively, “running on the treadmill, trying to burn more calories than I ate and measured myself constantly, all different parts of my body from my calves and my thighs to my arms.”
Over time, she became so fixated on her size that it began to take a toll on her wellbeing.
“Your energy is awful, your concentration is awful, your eyesight is blurry,” she explained.
“It’s really detrimental to your mental and physical health doing any kind of extreme fad diet and abusing your body with exercise.”
Then, at the age of 16, Iskra was dropped from her modelling agency because her hips were deemed “too big.”
“That led to body dysmorphia and eating disorders because I was I was not nourishing my body, I was abusing it with lack of food and nutrition and abuse of exercise.”
With the help of her “wonderful parents”, she overcame her unhealthy habits and decided to try her hand at plus-sized modelling, only to be told she wasn’t the right shape. The rejection caused her to see how futile it was to try to live up to unrealistic beauty ideals.
“It made me realise how much time I’d lost and wasted trying to fit into something that I wasn’t,” she said.
“I just gave up on all of the things in my mind that I’d been fighting to change myself for. Instead, I realised that I wanted to look after myself because I deserved better.”
“It didn’t happen overnight,” she said of her new mindset. “It took years, but it’s been the most rewarding journey ever to recover from that.”
She’s since set up EveryBODY with Iskra; a wellness website that provides her followers with workouts, meal plans and mindfulness tools, as well as a “safe space” to chat through their self-esteem issues. She’s also become an instrumental voice in the body positive movement.
“Exercise should be about strengthening yourself, building yourself up and doing realistic challenges,” she added.
Iskra, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.