Gina Susanna is an anorexia survivor, a body-positive blogger, and creator of the trending hashtag #embracethesquish. As a part of her commitment toward recovery, she’s taken to Instagram to share photos of her newly acquired “belly rolls,” “stretch marks,” and “cellulite” as a way to dismantle some of the harmful ideas around weight gain.
Susanna’s journey back to health has given her some well-earned perspective on today’s diet culture. In a recent post, she made an excellent point about eating well and allowing our bodies to thrive.
“Why do so many people’s recovery always come with a BUT…” she asks her more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. “Why do we think it’s OK to recover — but only up to a certain point?” She continues, “We tell ourselves ‘everything is fine — as long as you’re thin.’ ‘Eat as much as you want, as long as you don’t gain weight.’ ‘Cut out exercise — as long as you don’t get fat.”‘
“These are the ways that diet culture seeps into recovery. By telling us that it’s OK to eat desserts, as long as we don’t look like we do. But HELL NO. We need to let go of those things that hold us back from true recovery. We need to embrace recovery — and our bodies — with NO exceptions.”
The message is truly triumphant — especially for Susanna, who tells Yahoo that part of her illness meant “eating fewer than 600 calories a day” while “exercising for over 2 hours and using a heart rate monitor to count every calorie burned.”
The mantra of starving the ego to nourish the body has become crucial to her own survival.
“That means buying clothes a size larger than we’re used to,” the post continues. “It means recognizing that gaining weight is a part of recovery — and not just a little weight. Not just ‘just enough’ weight. It means taking back control from food. ALL food — not just the foods we’re comfortable with… True recovery means letting go of all the things we think we are still bound by.”
Susanna attributes her recovery to “the combination of ED recovery and body positivity.” She says she discovered the movement spreading across social media after tuning into posts from @amalielee and @bodyposipanda.
She says she continues to draw strength from prominent community members such as @chooselifewarrior, omgkenzieee (who created
#cellulitesaturday), and yourstruelymelly (who created #donthatetheshake), who Susanna says “are paving the way for body positivity and fat acceptance in a way that I can only hope to emulate.”
Read more on Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Why This Plus-Size Woman Wants You to See Her ‘Reverse Transformation’ Photo
- Woman Was ‘Mortified’ After Being Fat Shamed by Fellow Gym-Goer
- Curvy Lingerie Blogger Slams the Ideal ‘Summer Body’