In a heart-wrenching, brave Instagram post, model-turned-actor Saheefa Jabbar Khattak laid bare her ongoing struggles with weight, mental health, and the pressures of the entertainment industry. The actor also shared a picture alongside the note captioned, “The picture at the end of this slide has triggered my insecurities—my swollen eyes, my skin acting up. It’s sad that we are pressured to look flawless and beautiful all the time. I hope for better days and wish for happiness.”

“I have spoken about this before, and I’m going to speak about it again,” Khattak began, diving into her battle with weight that has spanned two to three years. The actor revealed that during her time in Pakistan she found herself about 10 kilograms overweight. “Last year, after my mental breakdown, I lost about 11-12 kilograms. I wanted to stay in shape and realised I do not want to gain the weight back,” Khattak shared. At 5’7″, her weight had climbed to 63-64 kilograms, a number she found acceptable but not preferable. “It was alright for my height, but I didn’t like it. Working in this industry, I feel pressured to look a certain way, despite all the talk about body positivity. Being overweight, or at least my body looking a certain way, was something I didn’t like for myself. For the past year, l’ve been on a diet, always struggling with weight and food,” penned the actor. 

The post took a deeper dive into Khattak’s personal battles while working on a project in Karachi. “Now that l’ve come to Karachi for a project, being away from home is very difficult for me. Whenever I sign a project in Karachi, I tell my production people I can only stay for a maximum of 10 days. On the 11th day I want to be home even if it’s for a day. I miss my home, my people, my roads, my cars,” she wrote. The Log Kya Kahenge actor continued to reveal, “Staying away from home takes a toll on my mental and physical health. Working long hours in difficult conditions takes a toll too. For the past 15-20 days on set, l’ve had two mental breakdowns. I kept calm, took my medicine, and kept it low-key.”

Working long hours on set exacerbated her condition. “Yesterday, I didn’t feel good about myself because I’m starving myself but not losing weight. I’m bloated, my face and eyes are swollen, and I’ve been sleepless for 4-5 nights. Last night, I had multiple panic attacks and had to take meds to sleep. I felt lonely and scared in the guest house. Today, I ordered a lot of food because my relationship with food has become very toxic. I’m either starving myself or overeating and crying about it. I’m trying to find a middle ground,” Khattak wrote, as she shared the depth of her struggles.

The actor furthered on to tell her followers that they should not believe everything they see on social media, for reality could be something very different. She said, “When you see people on social media showing their good side, know that many are struggling too. Some people don’t share much, and some do. I’ve learned to keep things real and tell the truth and doing what truly resonates with me.”

Despite her challenges, Khattak’s message was not without hope. “Life is difficult and unpredictable. It’s challenging. As a human, you can only try to navigate through and make your present better. Thinking about the past won’t change anything, and the future is unpredictable. You can only pray it gets better. In the present, no matter how difficult, all you can do is hustle and pray for improvement. Keep your ground and stay safe. When you pray for yourself, also pray for those around you.” She encouraged her followers to believe in themselves, good karma, their God, and their manifestation.

Khattak concluded the post on a positive note as she penned, “There are days when things are dark and gloomy, but l’ve learned that there is always a bright, shiny, sunny day ahead. Believe in yourself, good karma, your God, and your manifestation.”