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Rica Peralejo opens up about overcoming body image issues

By Brooke Villanueva Published Apr 03, 2024 1:26 pm

Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio openly talked about getting past her body image issues.

In an Instagram post, the actress recalled “hating” her “fat” legs back then and wishing they were thin. “Now, all I pray for are strong legs,” she said. “I don’t care how they look for as long as they take me to places where I want to go.”

Rica then shared her thoughts on aging as she described being in her 40s as “sobering” and “stress-free.” She added, “I love it!”

“I love how freeing it is to age and think of what others think less than what we actually want and need,” she continued.

In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe on Wednesday, April 3, the local star said body image issues were not things she intentionally overcame. “It happened organically,” she shared.

“I became mentally unstable and got really, really heavy,” she recalled. Later on, she found herself “caring very little” about the way she looked.

“In a way, it was very liberating because for the first time in my life, being a little heavier than usual didn’t bother me,” she mused.

She began her fitness journey when she noticed she started getting better. “When I was snapping out of the funk, I picked up yoga,” Rica shared. “Later on, I progressed to strength training then also picked up jumping rope.”

Regular exercises for her health made her lose weight and gain strength. “Only then did I realize how I no longer want a model-like figure but a strong one,” she said.

“Since I picked up all these athletic hobbies, I realized it takes a strong body to be able to do those,” she continued. “I know that when I starve, I am not strong.”

In 2021, Rica bared her struggle with anorexia when she was still in show business, which started from the pressure of the entertainment industry that imposed certain beauty standards on actresses like her. Anorexia is an eating disorder "characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight," according to health website Mayo Clinic.

“I would not eat and I would get so thin and still when I looked in the mirror, I felt fat. ‘Yun ang isa sa mga naging focus ng industriya namin,” she recalled. The content creator said she later realized that how much of what she thought was pretty or beautiful was simply “dictated by an outside force more than something it is that we know deep within us.”