health

Body positive Instagram account to follow: this anorexia survivor is awesome.

Her Achilles Heel was her stomach. And how many of us could say the same? She hated the way it wasn’t flat. That it wasn’t ‘toned’, or tight. How it didn’t look like we are told beautiful-women’s-stomachs should look like.

She hated herself for it.

Now, Connie is an “Eating Disorder Warrior”. She is the blogger and Instagrammer of My Life Without Ana and she is completely and refreshingly honest about her recovery from anorexia.

After years of “only seeing imperfections”, Connie is now an “advocate for EVERY body”. She is documenting her commitment to self love – to tummy folds, and cellulite, and wobbly bits – so that we might all learn something.

Yay for unflattering angles!!! ???????????????????????? The picture on the left in my view of my body when I sit down. I know I’m not big but when I used to look down at myself all I used to see was imperfections. Small boobs, Belly folds, cellulite, little muffin top, thighs touching. But my least favourite part of me has always been my tummy. I wanted it to be perfect and flat. I wanted to look like the girls I used to idolise but it never happened no matter what I tried. I exercised, ate ‘clean’ did every fad diet you can think of. Got down to a very low weight but I still had my tummy! What I never realised was that even the women I looked up too still had ‘imperfections’! ???? ???? But here are some things I’ve learnt; •Women naturally have more body fat then men, evolutionarily preparing us to support life. (Not that you have to!!) •90% of women have cellulite! It’s natural!!! •small boobs are beautiful too! (So are all boobs!!!!!) •a thigh gap is dependent on the size of your hips not your weight • your worth as a person is NOT determined by your weight! • tummies fold when you sit down. It doesn’t matter what size you are!!! • so many people grow up hating their bodies because we’re told we need to be fixed • this is a lie! Your body is not the problem! ???? ???? And yeah I still look down at myself sometimes and can’t stand it but when that happens I remember these things! ???????????????? and I #embracethesquish and love my natural body. Because the pursuit of a perfect body never made me happy. Accepting me for me did!!! So happy Saturday beautiful people and remember you are beautiful no matter what! ???????????? #selflovebootcamp #cellulitesaturday #positivebeatsperfect

A photo posted by Connie♥️Positive.beats.perfect (@my_life_without_ana) on

“When I used to look down at myself all I used to see was imperfections. Small boobs, Belly folds, cellulite, little muffin top, thighs touching,” she posted to Instagram. “But my least favourite part of me has always been my tummy. I wanted it to be perfect and flat. I wanted to look like the girls I used to idolise but it never happened no matter what I tried. I exercised, ate ‘clean’ did every fad diet you can think of. Got down to a very low weight but still had my tummy. What I never realised, was that even the women I looked up to still had ‘imperfections’!”

In her posts, she shares with her followers the things she’s learned. Bullet-point bites of information we would all do well to remember as we gaze at our mirrors, poking and prodding and all-too-often-chastising the body that’s reflected back at us.

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• Women naturally have more body fat then men, this is evolution preparing us to support life. (Not that you have to!!)
• 90% of women have cellulite! It’s natural!!!
• Small boobs are beautiful too! (So are all boobs!!!!!)
• A thigh gap is dependent on the size of your hips not your weight
• Your worth as a person is NOT determined by your weight!
• Tummies fold when you sit down. It doesn’t matter what size you are!!!
• So many people grow up hating their bodies because we’re told we need to be fixed – this is a lie! Your body is not the problem!

No, there is no ‘quick fix’. Self-love does not magically possess you mind overnight. Doubts will still crawl in. Insecurities will still rear their hear. But Connie’s Instagram is a great place for learning. Practising. And remembering…

Remembering that your body, which can run and jump and breathe and sing, is incredible in what it’s capable of.

That your stomach, which might not look like the stomachs in a magazine, is able to grow a baby. Feed you nutrients. Keep you upright.

That those bits of flesh underneath your biceps might jiggle, and feel soft, but that your arms are also the things that help you write postcards to your best friend. And play music. And shoot basketball hoops.

That those thighs, it doesn’t really matter if they are big or small or jiggly or tight. They carry you around all day. They snuggle around the person you love at night. And they – like the rest of your physical body – are only one, tiny component of the human being that is staring back at you in the mirror.

“Yeah I still look down at myself sometimes and can’t stand it, but when that happens I remember to #embracethesquish and love my natural body,” Connie writes. “Because the pursuit of a perfect body never made me happy. Accepting me for me did!”

Listen next: When food is the enemy.

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