Megan Jayne first began to feel self-conscious about her weight when she was just 5 years old. At 14 she weighed just 61 pounds and was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Shortly thereafter she was hospitalized, fed through a tube, and given just a few months to live. But now at age 22, Jayne has turned her life around, and she's using her Instagram account to share her message of body positivity and self-acceptance.
You can get there. Maybe right now you can't see a way out. Maybe you've been dragged into the depths of self hatred, and you just can't see a way back up. 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. Paying for their impossible idea of perfection with our money, our self esteem, our happiness. 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. You've spent enough of your life shackled by other people's expectations. It's time to be free, and embrace the beautiful body positive warrior that's been in you all along. If this girl can get there, I know that you can too. 💜💙💚🌈🌞
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Jayne told the Daily Mail that even when she was in kindergarten, she was terrified that people could see the roll of her belly when she sat down. She was constantly comparing herself to other girls.
"Thin would never be thin enough," she said. "The eating disorder overcame me so much that I believed it was all that I was and all that I had. I became an empty shell of a girl, still obsessing over whether my stomach was visible through my hospital gown."
I'll probably never be a gym bunny. I'll probably never want a salad for dinner. I'll probably never be a UK size 8 again. And now I know, that all of those things are okay. When you stop using exercise to torture your body into weight loss submission, you might just find ways to move that you actually enjoy. Ways that feel good, without pressure, without obligation, moving for the joy of moving. And if not, that's cool too! Exercise is not a requirement for self love, and if you're an ED warrior who has struggled with exercise addiction, like myself, then please don't go back until you're mentally healed. 🌸 As for food, it's not something you have to earn. It's not something you have to burn off. Forget about 'good' and 'bad' foods - what you eat is not a reflection of your moral character. Eat what you want, when you want, and never apologise for it. You deserve to eat, no matter what. Health is not one dimensional. Your mental and emotional wellbeing should be prioritised as well. For some people health is carrot sticks and cross fit. For others it's chocolate cake and catching up with friends. For me, it's yoga in the morning and pizza for dinner. And that's okay. We're all allowed our own definition of health, and of happiness. 💜💙💚🌈🌞
Thankfully, after several years of slow recovery — including a few years of binge-eating and crash diets — Jayne stumbled upon an epiphany in the form on an Instagram post. She had been searching the site for "fitspiration," but instead found a poster who promoted healthy body image and loving yourself just how you are.
Jayne decided to start her own Instagram account, bodyposipanda, as a part of her recovery. She posted her first photo of herself in a bikini in November, 2014. Today, she has close to 50,000 followers and she's spreading the word that it's OK to love the body you're in.
A #fbf to 2 years ago on holiday in the Dominican. I remember being utterly disgusted with myself after seeing this photo, appalled at how big I look, embarrassed that I'd let other people see me in a bikini. In truth, I've felt that way about my body my entire life, I've felt it as an average sized child, a slim adolescent, I've felt it at 140lbs, at 180lbs, I felt it most of all at 65lbs tubed up in a hospital bed and lucky to be alive. At every weight there was always an 'ideal goal' or a 'problem area' that if I could just fix then I could be happy with myself. I lost weight, I 'fixed', I was never happy. Loving my body seemed like an impossibility since I could never achieve that airbrushed perfection that I was brainwashed into thinking was the only way for a woman to look good. It's taken me far too long to realise that it was never my body that needed fixing, only ever my distorted perception my my body and the media bodies we all see day to day. Realising that I had the power to change my perception, the capability to banish years of reinforced negativity and truly embrace and love my body at any size was like coming out of a cult. Body positivity is the best thing that's ever happened to me. For the first time in my life I see clearly, and in this picture I see a beautiful young woman laughing in the sun 🌞#bodypositive #bodypositivewarrior #bopo #bodydiversity #effyourbeautystandards #icanseeyourbeauty #radicalbodylove #pizzasisters4lyfe #iamproudtobe #allbodiesarebeautiful #honormycurves #stophatingyourbody #selflovesisterhood #edrecovery #feminism #feminist #bodyconfidence #beautyredefined
I want you to know that this isn't your fault. All those thoughts about your body, all those things you hate about yourself - they didn't spring to life all by themselves. You live in a world that has taught you self hatred so well, and for that you hold no blame. It's not your fault that this world made you believe that your beauty can be seen in a mirror alone. It's dazed you with a blur of magazine covers and makeover shows. It's not your fault that this world tells you to value thin over everything, closing it's eyes to the people that sends to an early grave. Nobody told you that you don't exist to look like an empty image of photoshopped 'perfection'. Nobody told you don't exist to be looked at. If I could, I'd take you away. I'd put you in a world that teaches the truth - that you exist as so much more than a body. So when you're struggling, when those thoughts won't go away, when all the body positivity in the world won't quiet those voices. Just know that it isn't your fault. And that somewhere, there's another world where you can see how beautiful you really are. 💜💙💚🌈🌞
From her Instagram:
"Imagine a world where people don't starve themselves to death in the pursuit of thin because they know they're worth more than their body type. Imagine a world where people don't turn to binging and purging in times of distress because they can turn to body positivity and self love instead. This revolution is not about 'glorifying obesity' and it certainly isn't only beneficial to fat people. This benefits all people. This teaches all people that they are deserving of acceptance and respect regardless of their outer shells. That health and happiness come in more than one size and that damn it all those sizes are BEAUTIFUL."