Bella Hadid‘s feeling like her healthiest and strongest self as she prepares to hit the runway at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
The 22 year old supermodel, who was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in early 2012, tells PEOPLE exclusively backstage at the VSFS in New York City that she’s in a better place mentally and physically than she was when she walked the lingerie show in Shanghai and Paris the past two years.
“You have to have such a great mental state when you’re going into this,” Hadid tells us. “I’ve been really sick for the past few years, and it was really hard for me to fully experience the whole show and have fun with it and be excited. This year I really just feel like I am myself again and happy and healthy in all aspects of my life.”
She adds, “I am just really happy. Your mental state is honestly the biggest part about the whole process and the body kind of comes with being excited to work out.”
To prepare, the model says she’s been “working out a ton” and maintains a healthy diet, but doesn’t stop herself from enjoying the foods she loves.
“I’m not keeping myself from anything. I’m still eating things that I want to eat, but you know, not pizza everyday!”
Hadid will be rejoined by sister Gigi Hadid at tonight’s show, after she dropped out of the 2017 Shanghai show at the last minute. And Hadid says it is so special to have her older sister by her side.
“It is just insane. Even part of the show we’re standing close to each other for the finale and it is just exciting to be able to hold her hand,” Hadid says. “If I feel anything I can just look at her and we can make a joke and laugh. That is just what I am most excited about.”
Earlier in the week, Bella Hadid was preoccupied with technology in Toronto. On Monday, La Mar Taylor and Ahmed Ismail opened Hxouse, a creative and digital incubator that empowers young entrepreneurs. With help from Google Pixel 3, the space launched with a private dinner and plenty of digitally immersive experiences.
Appearances & Runway > 2018 > November 05 – Hxouse Launch Party in Toronto