MY BODY POSITIVE WAKE-UP CALL
As a teenager Megan Jayne Crabbe’s anorexia was so severe she was hours from death. Then she discovered the body positive movement – and learned to embrace her natural shape
A former anorexic on how, after years of dieting, she learned to embrace her shape
It was the summer of 2014 and I was having a perfectly ordinary day. I’d woken up in the morning, taken my two diet pills, washed them down with a smoothie of apple, berries and kale and forced myself to start a full body workout. Two hours later I was slumped on the living room floor getting my breath back, and beginning my daily routine of searching through Instagram for pictures of washboard abs and toned thighs to remind myself why all the pain, sweat and ignored hunger pangs were worth it.
Except that day I stumbled across something different: a woman wearing a bright red bikini and writing about loving her body as it was. In her own words, she was fat and daring to be visibly happy in a body I never thought people were allowed to be happy in. There she was embracing all the parts of herself that I’d spent my whole life hating – her soft stomach that rolled when she sat down, the cellulite that covered the thickness of her thighs, the jiggle of her arms as she moved. I had discovered the body positive movement, which celebrates women’s bodies in all shapes and forms. As the days went by, I started to question my daily routine of exercising and dieting more and more. Could I really do this for ever? Because that’s what it’s going to take to get that ‘perfect’ body that I’d been striving for since I could remember.
For six years, I had a festering, scary eating disorder. I alternated between eating huge quantities of food and purging through over-exercising and restricting my food intake. When I think back to that time I remember the clichéd things: the coldness that starts in your bones and travels through you; the dizziness; feeling my blood pressure plummet when I stood up and