In December 2015, Connie Inglis, from Leeds, U.K., was hospitalized and hooked up to a feeding tube to treat complications from her eating disorder. It was her third time in the hospital, and with a BMI below 13 (with “normal” BMI for women being between 18.5 and 24.9), she was considered dangerously underweight. Inglis was suffering from anorexia, even though couldn’t see it at the time.
“At the beginning of  I was sectioned under the mental health act and spent six months in hospital barely existing,” Inglis documented on her Instagram account, @my_life_without_ana. “I was discharged when my weight was OK and I was ‘not a health risk’ and I completely gave up. I tried to take my life. And when that didn’t work I tried the only other thing I could think of… I joined Instagram and the recovery community.”
Sharing her journey on Instagram has helped Ingris get stronger — and essentially turned her into an eating disorder recovery warrior.
“I honestly didn’t expect anything, but I started to follow people in similar positions as me and I was so inspired. I saw people posting pictures of there food, challenging themselves EVERY SINGLE DAY! Getting out of bed, always trying, being real,” she said.
She followed other body positive activists on Instagram, like @nourishandeat, @fallingintoselflove and @bodyposipanda — and they showed her something she had no idea even existed: happiness after an eating disorder.
“I got something from starting this account that I’d never found anywhere else… HOPE,” she stated. And after spending her entire life surrounded by images of what a woman’s body “should be,” she has finally come to accept what she calls “my kind of beautiful.”
“When I was 10 I got told I had to be thin,” she wrote in a recent post. “When I was 14, I got told I had to be fit and lean. When I was 16 I got told I had to be ‘sexy.’ When I turned 20 I got told curvy was the new thing… ‘But don’t forget it has to be the right kind of curvy!'”
“But even though I tried for years I’ve never been ‘the right kind of beautiful’. So screw it. I’m going to be MY KIND OF BEAUTIFUL!” she concluded. “I’ll be cute. I’ll rock those little boobs. I’ll dye my hair all the colors and get the tattoos I love. I’ll wear what I want and post what I want. I’ll wear makeup or I won’t. I’ll eat what I feel like and not feel bad for it. I’ll rock my cellulite and little belly rolls.
“And even on my bad days, putting myself down for not being the ‘right’ kind of beautiful… I’ll just remind myself that I’m MY KIND OF BEAUTIFUL! And I swear, that’s all you ever need to be.”
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