Gisele Bündchen recalls anxiety during early modelling career and drinking a bottle of wine a night

‘I felt as if I’d hit rock bottom’

Amber Raiken
New York
Thursday 19 May 2022 23:16
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Gisele Bündchen has spoken candidly about her anxiety and detailed how she used to drink one bottle of wine each night during the early days of her career.

The 41-year-old supermodel discussed the start of her successful modelling career in a recent interview with British Vogue. According to Bündchen, while it may have looked like she was doing physically well, at the time, she had been facing high anxiety and panic attacks for over a year and a half.

“From the outside, it looked like I had everything and I was just 22 years old. On the inside, I felt as if I’d hit rock bottom,” she said. “I was starting my day with a mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and three cigarettes, then drinking a bottle of wine every night. Imagine what that was doing to my mind.”

Bündchen recalled that through the help of a friend, she got in contact with a naturopath, who instantly prescribed her with a detox, as she couldn’t have any sugar, grains, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, or cigarettes.

She noted that for foods, her only options were vegetables, nuts, and some lean meat. And as a result, Bündchen said that she had some major symptoms of withdrawal.

“I think those were the worst migraines I’ve ever had in my life,” she added. “The doctor, he was French, would call me Adrenalina.”

Although she said that sticking to her new routine was difficult, her doctor had also told her that she didn’t exactly have any other option.

“I remember him saying, ‘Well, do you want to live?’ It was that simple,” she recalled.

Bündchen said that three months later, her debilitating symptoms were practically gone, and she has since begun waking up at five in the morning to meditate and work out.

Elsewhere in the interview, the mother of two, as she shares her 12-year-old son, Benjamin, and nine-year-old daughter, Vivian, with her husband Tom Brady, said that she takes a holistic approach when it comes to her health. According to Bündchen, conventional medicine isn’t a concept that she’s always fond of.

“The idea that taking one pill can solve my problems has always felt wrong to me, because that was never my experience,” she said. “If you put a Band-Aid on a cut, it doesn’t mean that it will go away.”

The model has previously opened up about her mental health and how her anxiety impacted her in her twenties. While speaking to Vogue Australia in 2020, Bündchen noted that her anxiety became so severe that she had thoughts of suicide, which ultimately encouraged her to make some big lifestyle changes.

“It became so unbearable I couldn’t breathe and I thought: ‘I gotta change,’ she said. “It wasn’t easy – I had the worst headaches ever because I was withdrawing. My system was so used to that life it was in shock because I stopped everything, so it took time.

“We are beings of habit and I think you can’t just expect to do something you have always done and stop. You have to replace bad habits with good habits,” she added.

Regarding how her habits changed, Bündchen again expressed how she cut out “coffee, the mocha frappuccino for breakfast and four cigarettes when [she] woke up in the morning”. Additionally, she said that she made running a part of her routine for a little while, which helped her in the long run.

“I started running,” she explained. “I don’t run anymore, but I ran then because it allowed me to feel my lungs and every time I ran for 20 minutes I was like: ‘Okay, I can feel my lungs, okay, I’m not smoking.’ And then I was meditating with breathing techniques so I would not feel anxious.”

“[Before that] I would get into the elevator and I would feel like I was going to die,” she added. “So I replaced bad habits with things that were supporting me and I realised that every day I was feeling better.”

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