By Grace Gavilanes
Dec 22, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

Despite finding success starting out as "a conventional model" in the fashion industry, model-turned-author Crystal Renn admits that those early days were the hardest due to her debilitating health, sparked by her emaciated frame. "There came a point when I decided that it was more about confidence and accepting who I am, so I made the decision to get healthy again," Renn, who has since found comfort as a size 8, tells in an interview for The Climb. "This has become my healthy medium through many years of recovery."

Speaking from experience, the model insists that in order to have a successful, happy, and healthy life (and career), one must tap into a different kind of mindset. "I think success is much sweeter when you have had battles because you recognize your strength," she says. "My turning point came with a mindset change." That mindset change, Renn says, came from a desire to find confidence, which ultimately "was the moment that success and the climb started."

For more of Crystal Renn's inspiring story, plus how her evolution into womanhood influenced her career, and how diversity in the modeling industry is essential, watch the video above.