This body-positive blogger gets real about 'being the fat one' in the relationship

By Nombulelo Manyana
15 May 2017

"Beautiful women were always light and graceful, the men strong and solid. So that the boyfriends could lift you up and swing you round, you his feather light princess."

In a world where our newsfeeds are dominated by ‘fitspo’ and pictures of slim young women, the 24-year-old from Essex provides a refreshing relief.

Recovered anorexic, Megan Jayne Crabbe has dedicated herself to spreading the message of loving your body with all its kinks -- stretch marks, tummy rolls and all!

She has been a hit on social media for simply posting images that show her looking happy and beautiful, with a body that’s much more relatable to most women.

Lately there are a lot of people who come here and tell me that I'm doing it wrong. That there's nothing bad about dieting or wanting to lose weight. That I shouldn't be celebrating the body types I do. That I've gone 'too far' or that I'm promoting the wrong things. But here's the reality: there are so many spaces you can go to and be congratulated on weight loss. There are millions of diet plans, endless articles on getting the 'perfect' body, and countless images of the body type our culture teaches us we should all strive for. Those are the spaces I grew up around, and boy did I learn the lesson well. I learned how to lose weight, I learned how to hate my body, I learned that chasing thinness was the only way to be beautiful, and the only way to be happy. It's taken me a LONG time to unlearn those lessons. And I plan on showing as many people as I can that they can unlearn them too. Because honestly? We all deserve so much better than how we've been taught to see ourselves. The body positive community is our safe space. It's the one corner of the internet you can go to where no matter how you look, you're good enough. It won't pressure you into believing that you can only be happy once you're smaller. It won't shame you for how many calories you eat or how many miles you can run. It won't tell you that your value lies in whatever number comes up on the scale. It's the space that I needed so badly all those years ago. So you can think that I'm doing this wrong all you like, I'll keep going. I'll keep creating a safe space where that girl on the left can't be hurt anymore. And for all of you out there who've never been told before that you're good enough already. You will ALWAYS be good enough here. ???? ?P.S. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK LIKE THE PICTURE ON THE LEFT FOR YOUR STRUGGLES TO BE VALID! EATING DISORDERS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES, THIS IS ONLY ONE REPRESENTATION. EDs ARE MENTAL ILLNESSES, NOT WEIGHTS. WHATEVER SIZE, YOU ARE WORTHY OF RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT. SENDING SO MUCH LOVE TO ALL MY ED WARRIORS ?

A post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe ? (@bodyposipanda) on

She uses her blog and Instagram to remind everyone that how much of what we see on social media isn’t real and to help us remember that our bodies are perfect just the way they are.

From posts about enjoying your food and overcoming anorexia, she is breaking down common pressures women feel when it comes to their weight.

Recently she addressed a type of pressure that’s common to many women in relationships: the pressure to be smaller than the man you’re dating. "If you weigh more than your boyfriend, you're too fat," she wrote on one of her posts she shared on Instagram. "That's something I learned while we were still on the playground, back before any of us had even been near a boy. I don't know where it came from, TV, magazines, overheard conversations - but it was fact.

"If you weigh more than your boyfriend, you're too fat". That's something I learned while we were still on the playground, back before any of us had even been near a boy. I don't know where it came from, TV, magazines, overheard conversations - but it was fact. Beautiful women were always light and graceful, the men strong and solid. So that the boyfriends could lift you up and swing you round, you his feather light princess. As I got older that image became one more reason I was convinced that my body made me unlovable. And it isn't an image that only hurts women, it hurts men who can't reach the strong, solid expectation, it hurts people who don't fit the gender binary, people who don't slot in the limited boxes our culture puts gender into. It hurts queer people who are only given heteronormative images to aspire to. It hurts us all, the idea that only certain bodies are deserving of love. But the truth? The truth is that every single one of us are worthy of love, whether our bodies are light, strong, soft, bigger or smaller than our partners. Whether we believe that we're worthy or not. We already are. That means you too. ????? #bodypositivepowerA post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe ? (@bodyposipanda) on

She says as she got older that image became one more reason she was convinced that her body made her unlovable.

Where it started

Megan started hating her body when she was just five-years-old, reported The Independent. She even recalled a time when she thought all her classmates were so much prettier and thinner than she was.

“Barbie, Disney princesses, '90s pop stars and famous actresses. They all had one thing in common: they were thin. And I learned fast that if I wanted to be beautiful too, then I wasn't thin enough.”

By the age of 10, she was dieting and restricting her food intake more obsessively. At age 14, she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. At her darkest point, she weighed 29 kg and was being tube fed in hospital.

It took two years of hospital visits and psychiatric ward stays before she began to claw my way out, she told The Independent.

But her anorexia turned into a binge-eating disorder.

“After nearly tripling my weight in a year I was left in a body I hated more than ever, that's when the dieting started again. I cycled through starvation diets and binge eating episodes for years.” During these years, Megan’s identity became bound in her mental illness but her recovery began when she discovered body positivity - or ‘bopo’ as it is known. “Body positivity is the only thing that ever allowed me to heal my relationship with food, learn how to eat intuitively and stop torturing myself for how my body looks,” she said.

It is possible to find beauty in the softness. It is possible to fall in love with a body that you never believed was worthy of love. It is possible to find peace after spending a lifetime waging war against your body. It is possible to recover. And if I can go from being the girl on the left, terrified, lost, completely consumed by anorexia, to the body positive, belly roll embracing woman I am today, then you can find peace too. ????? P.s. I haven't posted a recovery picture in a while, because I NEVER want you to think that you have to look like the picture on the left to have an eating disorder. 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. 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. So this is to show that girl on the left how powerful she really is. This is to show her everything that she was capable of. This is to show her that she survived, and not only that, she thrived. I wish I could go back and show her that she had the power to do anything in the whole world all along. So this will have to do. And to everyone who's still fighting, this is to tell you that I believe in you. ? #bodypositivepowerA post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe ? (@bodyposipanda) on

In her recent post, she explained very beautifully why holding on the notion that as the woman you must be the skinny one, can be very harmful to both parties.

"It isn't an image that only hurts women, it hurts men who can't reach the strong, solid expectation, it hurts people who don't fit the gender binary, people who don't slot in the limited boxes our culture puts gender into.

"It hurts queer people who are only given heteronormative images to aspire to. It hurts us all, the idea that only certain bodies are deserving of love," she wrote.

"But the truth? The truth is that every single one of us are worthy of love, whether our bodies are light, strong, soft, bigger or smaller than our partners. Whether we believe that we're worthy or not. We already are. That means you too."

Sources: The Independent. Metro UK. Buzz Feed

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