You're probably used to seeing people show off their weight loss by juxtaposing photos of their old, overweight self, next to photos of their new, happy and thin self.
But Megan Jayne, a 22-year-old from Colchester, England, is sharing a very different kind of before-and-after photo. Instead of weight loss, she is very proudly showing off the weight she's gained since she was 14 years old, and she's doing it for an incredibly important reason.
At age 14, Jayne was diagnosed with anorexia. She also struggled with depression, anxiety, and self-harm. At one point, she was only 65 pounds and needed to be hospitalized. She had to receive her meals through a feeding tube.
"It took me 2 years to claw my way out of anorexia," Jayne writes on her website. "2 years, one institutionalization, one hospitalization, and countless tears from the family members' hearts I'd broken along the way. I had chased the holy grail of thin with everything I had, traded in every part of me to end up 65lbs, barely alive, still worried that people would see my stomach fold as I sat in my hospital bed."
Jayne is certainly not alone. In the United States, up to 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder and almost 50 percent of them meet the criteria for depression, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
That's why she's using her social media presence to spread awareness about the disease, and show recovery is both possible and completely worth it.
Jayne spent years hating her body and yearning for what she thought was perfection. Now that she's recovered from her eating disorder, she's healthier, happier, and more accepting of her flaws.
She's become a warrior in the body positivity movement, proudly sharing photos of her curvy body and writing encouraging captions.
"We've all been poisoned by a world that profits from us hating our bodies, and if they had their way we'd be tied down forever," she writes in one Instagram post. "But I know that you can break free. Because I did. You just have to believe that you can. You have more strength inside of yourself than you will ever know. You are powerful. Powerful enough to rip off those chains holding you down, and refuse to believe that you aren't good enough any longer."
With her body positive selfies and messages that encourage women to love themselves, she's amassed over 40,000 followers on Instagram. She also creates some pretty kickass body positivity artwork.
"So however you feel about your body right now, please believe that it can get better," she writes on her website. "You can learn to love every part of yourself, without changing a thing. And you deserve that. Take it from someone who never thought they'd find a way out, there is hope, and happiness, and freedom on the other side of self-hatred."
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