Most shockingly, Zayn Malik revealed the pressure from being part One Direction drove him to develop an eating disorder.
“When I look back at images of myself from around November 2014, I can see how ill I was. Something I’ve never talked about in public before, but which I have come to terms with since leaving the band, is that I was suffering from an eating disorder,” he wrote.
“It wasn’t as though I had any concerns about my weight or anything like that, I’d just go for days–sometimes two or three days straight–without eating anything at all,” he added. “It got quite serious, although at the time I didn’t recognize it for what it was.”
He’s certainly been taking steps to get healthy now, and that includes taking time off when he needs it to deal with the anxiety of performing. From the sound of it, his relationships have also been healthier. For a while now, he’s been dating model Gigi Hadid.
Previously, he was engaged to Perrie Edwards, but the pressure of One Direction may have contributed to that split as well. “I had been in a bad place for a while and I didn’t see myself getting out of it unless I made a change,” Zayn Malik stated in his autobiography. “My relationship with my fiancee Perrie was breaking down. To make matters worse, there were so many crazy stories flying around in the newspapers about us.”
Despite the negativity that came to Zayn Malik during his time in One Direction, that didn’t mean it was an easy decision for him to leave the band. “The memory of that night is kind of a blur,” he said of the day he decided to quit. “I was in f—ing bits, but I finally came to the realization something I already knew deep down, and had known for a long time. I was leaving the band and going home.”
Sure, One Directioners were bummed that he left, but how awesome is it that Zayn Malik took initiative and worked on getting healthy? It would take a lot of guts to leave something so successful, but in the end, what’s the point if you’re not happy doing it?