What does a celebrity fashion designer know about nutrition and dieting? Toronto-based and world-renowned designer Izzy Camilleri knows enough to fill a book. An e-book, more specifically: Izzy’s Eating Plan. It’s not a typical diet book, Camilleri assures us. There are no fashionable fad diet tips or quick fixes. Instead Camilleri, whose designs are no stranger to magazines like Italian Vogue and InStyle, talks about nutrient density, eating more fibre and understanding how the body responds to food, whether it’s with weight loss or pain. We got the inside scoop and an exclusive video on the making of this dress (scroll down, it’s worth a bottom-page look). Here she shares what motivated her to share her secrets, her motivation, what she learned in her healthy journey and more. Take a read.
Did you ever feel you had to eat or look a certain way because you work in the fashion industry?
“I never felt pressure from the industry. Just my own personal pressure that I put on myself. I’m 4 feet, 10 inches tall, so I knew I’d never be a super model or look like one. However, pressure, in general, of how one looks is always present. Fitting into a ‘sample size’ was always a good thing. I do think there is a bit more pressure in the fashion world to look good and take care of yourself. But at the same time, the fashion industry is a very open one, which allows people to be and dress any way they like. Taking care of one’s body and health goes beyond fashion or any industry.”
How did your own personal health experiences affect how you see your industry?
“For me, it was my work and designs that took centre stage. So my own personal health did not really affect how I saw the industry. I suppose we, as people, are always comparing ourselves to others. I don’t think that is really any different in other industries. Feeling and looking our best raises confidence and that helps us get through our lives in a more positive way, no matter what industry you are in.”
How has learning about food and its effects on the body empowered you? What was the biggest thing you’ve learned?
“I’ve learned so much over the last few years. I think the biggest thing was that I could alter and improve many parts of my body naturally through food, and doing it in a very healthy, simple way. It was empowering not to rely on a fad diet to achieve my goals. Also, eating with intention has been life altering – really thinking about the foods I eat, and turning away many foods I used to consume without even giving it a second thought.”
How did that change happen for you?
“When I started to take care of myself, for some reason, this time, it was different. I started seeing results from my own actions. It was like a light bulb went off. Seeing the other side, the healthier side, of things around eating and lifestyle begged the question of why eat poorly when you can just as easily eat well. I wanted to share and help others with what I was learning.”
You’ve chosen Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation to be beneficiaries for the sales of your book. Why is that?
“I have many close family members and friends with both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, so I’ve lived very close to it for many years and understand its wrath. It’s a very difficult disease to live with so I’m happy that I can help raise funds and awareness through my book.”