This Woman's Response To An Old Photo Of Herself Is Totally Inspiring

With Thanksgiving 2016 over and Christmas coming up, 'tis the season for traveling home to cringe at old photos of ourselves. For those in recovery from eating disorders or struggling with body image issues, seeing old photos can be really tough. But if that's you, body-positive activist Megan Jayne Crabbe — the woman behind the @bodyposipanda Instagram — has a powerful message that just might help you see your past self in a new light.

As an eating disorder survivor, Crabbe has struggled with her body image for a while, and her self-esteem hit rock-bottom after she viewed one picture in particular, Hello Giggles reports. "As soon as I saw [this photo], I spiraled into the deepest body shame I'd ever felt. I untagged. I cried. I messaged my best friend to ask her whether that's how I truly looked," she wrote on Instagram. "The next day, I started yet another crash diet. I vowed to never look like that picture ever again. I was absolutely disgusted with myself."

That was just three years ago.

"Now, I have no idea how I ever could have seen that picture as hideous. Sure, I don't look long and slim and like I just walked off a magazine cover, photoshopped and perfect. But I'm smiling, I have my sister next to me, and my outfit is cute AF. Today, I am the same size I was then, sitting down in all of my softness, and completely happy with my body."

So, the photo stayed exactly the same — it was just her attitude that changed. This goes to show that, as Crabbe points out, "the problem is not your body; the problem is how you've been taught to view your body. So don't give up on yourself, and please, don't throw away photos because you think your body isn't worthy of being seen. Someday soon you'll see that you were worthy all along."

Did you ever see a picture that made you hate every part of yourself? The picture on the left did that for me. My dad took it about 3 years ago on a family day out, and as soon as I saw it I spiralled into the deepest body shame I'd ever felt. I untagged. I cried. I messaged my best friend to ask her whether that's how I truly looked. Was I really that soft? That lumpy? That fat? The next day I started yet another crash diet. I vowed to never look like that picture ever again. I was absolutely disgusted with myself. And you know what? Now I have no idea how I ever could have seen that picture as hideous. Sure, I don't look long and slim and like I just walked off a magazine cover, photoshopped and perfect. But I'm smiling, I have my sister next to me, and my outfit is cute AF. Today I am the same size I was then, sitting down in all of my softness, and completely happy with my body. So here's a reminder that you are 100% capable of changing how you see yourself. The problem is not your body, the problem is how you've been taught to view your body. And who knows, one day the parts that you once thought were the most hideous might become the parts you love the most (I'm looking at you, belly rolls). So don't give up on yourself, and please, don't throw away photos because you think your body isn't worthy of being seen. Someday soon you'll see that you were worthy all along. 💜💙💚🌈🌞

A photo posted by Megan Jayne Crabbe 🐼 (@bodyposipanda) on

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Another woman under the name of @misunderstoodworm on Instagram recently posted about how surprised she was by her self-image's improvement throughout the course of her eating disorder recovery.

"If you had told me four years ago, when my multiple eating disorders were at their worst, that I could ever be this okay with myself, I probably would've said 'please get out of my room,' and I also definitely wouldn't have believed you," she wrote.

These women provide a lot of hope to those of us struggling with poor body image. As Crabbe points out, our bodies aren't the issue. What we need is a change in perspective.
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