How Chloë Grace Moretz changed her 'unhealthy relationship with food'

Chloe Grace Moretz is doing more than baking bread during quarantine (although yes, she's done that too): She's getting to know herself better than ever.

The 24-year-old actress, who stars in two upcoming films, the horror-action Shadow in the Cloud and the animated Tom and Jerry, graces the March issue of Shape and, in a feature story inside, talks about bettering her mind and soul.

"I had quite an unhealthy relationship with food for years, always trying to create a calorie deficit and never feeling fully satisfied," Moretz told the magazine. "One big thing I've learned about is conscious eating — eat how you want, but do it smartly. I grew up and began trusting in eating for my body and eating whole good foods. And if I know that I'm going to have a big dinner or a big lunch, I have a little less in either direction. This has been really successful for me. I also drink alcohol on weekends only. It's very easy for me to fall into having a glass of wine every night, which affects my mental clarity."

As a child actress in Hollywood, Moretz, who began acting at age 7 on the CBS television show The Guardian, did not avoid exposure to tired beauty ideals. "When I was 16. I wanted a boob job," she told ELLE in 2016. "I wanted the fat pad under my chin to be removed. I wanted a butt reduction, or whatever. And my mom said, 'Absolutely not, you're not allowed to have plastic surgery.' And because of that, I found a lot of power within my insecurities. They're what make me who I am now."

Chloe Grace Moretz graces the cover of Shape magazine for its March 2021 issue, on sale Feb. 12. (Photo: Thomas Whiteside)

Chloe Grace Moretz graces the cover of Shape magazine for its March 2021 issue, on sale Feb. 12. (Photo: Thomas Whiteside)

Moretz finds power in calling out BS, even if it's humbling. In 2017, when an advertising campaign for her film Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs included the tagline, "What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?" the actress, who voiced Snow White, sided with claims that it reeked of body shaming. "I have now fully reviewed the [marketing] for Red Shoes, I am just as appalled and angry as everyone else, this wasn't approved by me or my team," she tweeted. Moretz added, "The actual story is powerful for young women and resonated with me. I am sorry for the offense that was beyond my creative control."

Also foundational is understanding her own mental health. "I thought maybe I had anxiety, but then the pandemic hit it, and I was like, 'Oh, I have anxiety for sure,'" Moretz told Shape. "My most calm and centered self is when I'm on set and busy. I tend to feel stress in the mundane everyday moments at home. Now that I'm home all the time, my anxiety is constantly being revved up. I've learned that when that fight-or-flight kicks in, it's up to me to catch those tendencies, recognize them, and respect them but then bring it back."

Conducting a "sense check" helps Moretz center. "What are two things I can smell, taste, see, and feel right now?" she said. "Then I do box breathing, which is four counts in, four counts hold, and four counts release."

And therapy is an essential tool. "I can't speak highly enough of a good therapist who will guide you and help figure out what is truest to who you are," she said.

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