While most before-and-after photos showing someone's physical progress documents their journey towards weight loss or muscle gain, body positive blogger Megan Jayne Crabbe takes a different approach.
On Tuesday, Crabbe (who goes by bodyposipanda) posted two side-by-side photos of herself to Instagram, one "before" photo in which she is thinner, and a current photo of the "belly roll embracing woman I am today."
When she took the "before" photo, she wrote, she was struggling with anorexia — and now, she wants to show her followers that recovery is possible even when it seems so far out of reach. Crabbe also wrote that she hasn't shared a recovery photo in a while, because she doesn't want anyone to think that eating disorders have to "look" a certain way, but felt that it was important to celebrate her progress.
"I NEVER want you to think that you have to look like the picture on the left to have an eating disorder," she wrote. "You don't. EATING DISORDERS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. And every single one is worthy of recognition and treatment. Eating disorders are mental illnesses, not sizes."
"But today I realised that it's nearly 10 years since I was first diagnosed with anorexia," she continued. "10 years on, and I'm about to finish writing a book teaching other people how to make peace with their bodies. I didn't even think that I was going to make it out alive, let alone make it to where I am now."
According to the National Association of Anorexia, at least 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder, and an estimated 0.9% of women in America suffer from anorexia at some point in their lives.
Crabbe has made remarkable progress in the last decade, but she wants to make sure that people understand that eating disorders don't often manifest physically, and you don't have to be thin to struggle with one. Instead, she wants her followers to know that no matter how your eating disorder manifests itself, it is possible to recover and to love your body again.
This isn't the first time Crabbe has opened up about her journey — and thankfully, it likely won't be the last. Crabbe has continued to be a positive, powerful voice in the body positive community on her website and Instagram page, and she'll also be releasing a book on how she learned to treat her body better.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call theNational Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
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