Blogger Megan Jayne Crabbe has shared her “happy body” on social media – alongside a pic of herself when she was dieting and exercising fairly obsessively – and it’s sparking important conversations about balance, acceptance and self-love.
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On the left is me 2 1/2 years ago, just before I found body positivity, and on the right is me today. You'll probably notice the most obvious thing I've gained between these two pictures: weight. But there are so many other things I've gained as well. I've gained mental freedom. I've gained self love. I've gained my life back after so many years of believing that I wasn't worthy of living it because of how my body looked. I know the world wants you to believe that the less you weigh the happier you'll be. I know I'm supposed to feel ashamed of this transformation. I'm supposed to vow to lose the weight, I'm supposed to spend my life chasing the body on the left and buying into the idea that I'll be more valuable once I get there. But I'm not going to do that. Instead I'm going to tell you what I learnt from all those wasted years chasing washboard abs and dropping numbers on the scale: happiness is not a size. Weight loss does not cure self hatred. Mental health matters more than a dress size does. And we are all so worthy of self love exactly as we are. It's time we took a stand and refused to keep hurting ourselves in the pursuit of a 'perfect' body that doesn't even exist. It's time for us to realise that we're already good enough. It's time for us to take our power back. 💜💙💚🌈🌞
Megan Jayne is a girl after our own hearts really, promoting a less restrictive, gentle and compassionate approach to food and fitness, and raising concerns about the modern-day obsession with “beauty”, denial and controlling it all.
Once a devoted exercise and diet fanatic, a six-pack and the sort of “perfect body” touted on Instagram are now far from this blogger’s mind. Instead she’s embarked on a very personal journey, easing up on the denial and refusing to conform to idealised – and often impossible – beauty standards. She’s hoping others will listen up and do the same.
“As it turns out, happiness isn’t a size. And I wasted far too many years believing that it was. Now I’m not going to stop letting people know that they deserve happiness exactly as they are. They deserve to live now, not 10 pounds from now.”
Happiness isn’t a size
Megan Jayne has obviously gained weight since she stopped her restrictive diet and hardcore exercise regimen – as the side by side images she posted show. The body acceptance blogger could not be happier about how she looks right now.
Hers is the kind of transformation rarely celebrated, as women are encouraged to weigh less in the quest to be more. Megan wants to completely shake up the way women look at themselves – and the ways we equate weight with happiness and health.
“I know the world wants you to believe that the less you weigh the happier you’ll be. I know I’m supposed to feel ashamed of this transformation. I’m supposed to vow to lose the weight, I’m supposed to spend my life chasing the body on the left and buying into the idea that I’ll be more valuable once I get there. But I’m not going to do that,” Megan Jayne posted unapologetically.
Megan’s post highlights the fact that many people think the words “skinny” and “healthy” are interchangeable and that much talk of being “healthy” is the quest for “skinny” in disguise. This misuse of language and these inaccurate attitudes do nobody any good.
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"Wait so you just decided to RUIN your body?" Nah, I just stopped torturing myself every day for not fitting an image I was never supposed to be. · "But you look so much healthier to me before." That's funny, you looked so much more intelligent to me before you equated health with weight and forgot that mental health is health too. · "You could have stayed the same and loved your body, you didn't need to get fat." I could have stayed the same and spiralled back into the eating disorder that almost killed me when I was 15. I could have kept starving myself and obsessively working out for hours everyday but it never would have lead me to self love. No matter how much weight I lost there was always still something to hate. And sure, people don't NEED to gain weight to find their self love, this is just what my body needed to do to match up to my mental freedom. THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY. · "But surely you can't be happy looking like that now, I could never be happy in that body." I didn't think I could either, but as it turns out, happiness isn't a size. And I wasted far too many years believing that it was. Now I'm not going to stop letting people know that they deserve happiness exactly as they are. They deserve to live now, not 10 pounds from now. They deserve that mental freedom. So to every person reading this: I hope you get your freedom too, however it might look. I'll be cheering you on every step of the way. 💜💙💚🌈🌞 P.s. these are all comments I received on my last before/after picture, luckily for me, they just make me want to keep going even more 👊
“Weight loss does not cure self hatred”
Megan Jayne says the relentless quest to reduce our size is taking a terrible toll. She hopes we’ll begin to prioritise our emotional and mental health – over the size of our thighs – and learn to love what we see in the mirror.
The blogger urges other women to opt out of the race for an increasingly smaller, firmer version of ourselves, find a more sustainable balance and – above all- learn to accept our (excellent) selves, just the way we are.
“I’m going to tell you what I learnt from all those wasted years chasing washboard abs and dropping numbers on the scale: happiness is not a size. Weight loss does not cure self hatred. Mental health matters more than a dress size does. And we are all so worthy of self love exactly as we are. It’s time we took a stand and refused to keep hurting ourselves in the pursuit of a ‘perfect’ body that doesn’t even exist. It’s time for us to realise that we’re already good enough. It’s time for us to take our power back.”
It’s sad times we live in when self-acceptance is a radical act, yet this is exactly the reality most women face on a daily basis.
What do you think about Megan’s views on accepting ourselves?