We are living in the era of objectification and body image issues. There are many ads telling you what is wrong with your body
For many people recovering from an eating disorder, the mirror is their worst enemy.
Anorexia is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. It can be followed by excessive exercise,self induced vomiting, use of laxatives,etc.
But this one young woman is using Instagram as a tool to help in her recovery, and spread a message to others about body positivity.
Connie Inglis, from Leeds, started her Instagram account my_life_without_ana in 2016, and has amassed more than 16,000 followers in that time.
On the account the young woman posts photos of her holding her stomach, posting photos of ‘unflattering angles’, and showing how many images on the site are photoshopped.
Her heartfelt and honest posts about learning to love her body have resonated with many young women also suffering from anorexia.
Ms Inglis also writes about her recovery and history with anorexia, how long it took her to get out of its grip.
In a blog post, Ms Inglis revealed how difficult it got after her eating disorder took hold of her.
‘I lost a lot of weight. I restricted. I lied. I got taken over by anorexia,’ she wrote. ‘Not that anyone knew, I hid myself away in baggy clothes and blankets, refusing to leave the house and just telling everyone I wouldn’t eat because I didn’t feel well.’
Like many others with eating disorders, the young woman concealed it well, and it was only after something extreme happened that her family realised what was wrong.
‘I was getting treated for depression but not until I collapsed did anyone really consider anorexia,’ she explained.
Ms Inglis was hospitalised three times since her initial collapse, with the last time, in late 2015, what she says was the worst.
‘My experience in the last year has been the most scarring,’ she wrote in 2016. ‘My weight dropped dramatically in December 2015.’
‘I had to be emergency referred to a general ward for tube feeding (my BMI was below 13) but I was too ill for this and couldn’t see that this was what my body needed so I fought against it.
‘I was sectioned and transferred to a specialist ward for eating disorders where I stayed for the next six months, slowly starting to do things for myself again.’
Ms Inglis, who has also been using her social media presence to raise money for an organisation that helps people with eating disorders, credits her Instagram with helping her recovery.
‘I was discharged at the end of May  and the last few months have been the most difficult of my life,’ she said. ‘I had to learn to survive on my own again without the threat of a section to make me eat and it was so energy sapping and mentally draining.
‘I was existing but I wasn’t really living… But then I discovered the recovery community on Instagram and joined a recovery chat on whatsapp with the most incredible and supportive people!’
‘My life has gotten SO much better!!,’ she wrote in a blog post about her recovery in 2016.
Now Ms Inglis helps inspire others with her posts on Instagram, posting about parts of her body that used to trigger her.
‘When I used to look down at myself all I used to see was imperfections,’ the young woman wrote on Instagram. ‘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,”‘
Many women have responded to her post, saying that it
‘Thank you so much,’ one commenter wrote. ‘I’ve always thought there was something wrong with my body for having small boobs and big thighs and the tummy.’
‘But thanks to you I’ve realised that there’s nothing wrong with it. That it’s actually really beautiful (and natural) and that loving myself is what I need to work on, not on fixing me body to meet societies standards.’