30/10/2013 17:33 GMT | Updated 26/02/2014 08:59 GMT

Nina Blakemore Who Was Told She Was 'Too Fat' As A Size Zero Model, Becomes A Successful Plus Size Model

Following in the footsteps of Alice Jackson who went from being anorexic to a plus size lingerie model, model Nina Blakemore has landed top modelling work as a size 18 after she couldn't get any starving herself to a size zero - because she was told she was too fat.

At 5'10" Nina Blakemore ate just an apple a day at one stage to starve herself down to a rakish model norm size zero.

But despite putting her body through hell to achieve what she thought was the perfect look Nina was devastated when she claims she was told she was still 'too big'.

nina blakemore

For years Nina, 35, of Wolverhampton, West Mids, starved herself until she was spotted by a scout at a Clothes Show event.

Since then Nina has gone from strength-to-strength modelling all over the world for top plus-size brands.

She said: "One modelling agency told me to lose weight as I was too big - I literally had to starve myself to get anywhere near a size zero.

"I wanted to become a model so desperately that I knew that starving myself was the only option.

"I lived off an apple a day and would exercise vigorously."

Despite making herself really ill Nina claims still wasn't thin enough for a modelling agency she wanted to join. Every week Nina would weigh and measure herself putting huge pressure on her.

Nina said: "My hair started falling out and I looked awful as my health started deteriorating. My mood swings were horrendous - I was so unhappy."

"My mum could see how skinny I'd become and she witnessed first-hand the effects an eating disorder were having on my body.

"We went to the doctors and from there I was referred to a therapist."

Finally after a year-long battle with food she began eating properly again and Nina started to regain her confidence and allowed herself to gain weight.

Since then she hasn't looked back - Nina went back up to her natural shape and decided to go into plus size modelling instead.

She has experienced a fantastic career working all over the world - including New York and India. Nina said: "I'm just trying to show people that you don't need to be size zero to be a model.

"I'm now a size 18 and use my time to help others who suffer from anorexia to face their battles with food.

"I eat healthy food and exercise in moderation - I no longer restrict myself and eat foods I enjoy."

Nina explains how she is not promoting obesity - she wants to show people that you can be happy and womanly whatever size you are.

She said: "Women shouldn't feel forced to be thin - we should just be happy with our natural size."

Nina knew deep down that when she was battled with food that she didn't look healthy.

As she gained on weight she wasn't repulsed by being fatter than before - instead she embraced it and began modelling.

Not only has Nina modelled for the world's leading plus size companies - she has also appeared on television programmes to help women build confidence.

Nina said: "There needs to be more curvy girls modelling on our high street who represent natural women.

"Because I'm a size 18 I'm too big for mainstream sizes at the moment."

Nina has taken on critics in the past but vows that those who haven't been in her shoes don't have the right to judge her size or weight.

She said: "I'm embracing who I am and I have no time for any negativity surrounding plus size models."

Nina is currently signed with Hughes Models who promote curvy women.

Director Cheryl Hughes said: "Our Models are healthy, fit, beautifully proportioned and have that magic something in front of the camera - what more could society need for realistic role models.

"For me they prove that every woman can be healthy, fit and attractive irrespective of size. However, health and fitness are paramount. An unfit size zero is as unacceptable as an unfit 14, 16, 18 etc.

"We would encourage all women to love their bodies and give their bodies the care and attention we lavish on anything or anybody we love."