It may sound like I’m complaining – because everyone gets old –but I can’t believe how much things have changed since I turned 25. At first it was just little things, you know, like feeling a little sluggish during the day. I figured I had just been working a bit too hard and tried to get more rest. Then I noticed that my eyes were starting to look tired. Easy fix; a little bit of extra skin care at night, more water and just a tad of caffeine.

My problem is that my eyes were only the beginning. Overall it’s like everything is harder. I have to actually pay attention to what I eat and get enough sleep and exercise.

I never had to exercise before …

So I joined a gym. That was absolutely horrible. The minute I walked into the club, I felt every woman turn and look at me. I tried not to draw too much attention to myself, but it didn’t work. Other gym members made no attempt to make room for me on the machines or even help me out. After a few awkward visits, I decided to hire a personal trainer.

The trainer was knowledgeable, but even he could not resist asking me why I was there.

“You already look great, what reason could you possibly have for working out?”

I tell him I need to maintain my figure because I was a professional model. His response was classic: “Isn’t that what PhotoShop is for?”

So I stopped going to the gym. I hired a personal trainer to come to the house instead. Sure, it cost more, but it was definitely worth it to not have to deal with the judgmental stares.

Working out was one thing, my diet was another. See, here’s a secret about me and food. I love it. I don’t think about what I eat, I just go for it. I have a high metabolism so it has never been a problem. Since I turned 25 though, it’s like my metabolism started running out of steam. I started to develop a bit of a belly after enjoying a good lunch. If I don’t exercise for a week, my thighs start to lose their noticeable gap.

It’s not an amount that most people would notice, but it is something I definitely can see, and I’m sure designers will as well. I didn’t know what to do about it, but I knew I had to do something.

If you thought going to the gym was intimidating, seeing a diet specialist was worse. After being handed anorexia and bulimia pamphlets by more people than I could count, I finally called my agent who recommended a few simple changes.

I know I don’t have to do all this stuff. I mean I could keep my regular lifestyle and put on a few pounds- but not if I want to keep working. Even though all of it is an inconvenience, it’s worth it to stay on the runway. 25 is too young to retire. I survived the competitive world of fashion modeling and made it a career- I don’t intend to quit now that I’m good at it!