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Blogger’s Reverse Before-and-After Photos Go Viral: ‘Happiness Isn’t a Size’

Body-positive blogger Megan Jayne Crabbe’s before-and-after photos have gone viral since she posted them on Instagram last week, primarily because they are the reverse of what is expected. Watch the video to find out why she’s proud of her transformation!

In the “before” photo, the U.K.-based blogger looks thin and athletic with a hint of a six-pack. In the “after” shot, the 23-year-old appears curvier as she poses in a hot pink bra and panty set.

“THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY,” the bodyposipanda blogger wrote, describing how she “stopped starving herself and obsessively working out” and is much happier at a heavier weight. “Happiness isn’t a size. And I wasted far too many years believing that it was.”

Related: Mom’s Two-Pound Weight-Loss Photo Goes Viral

The Essex, England woman, who has struggled with body image and eating disorders for most of her life, was at her thinnest about 18 months ago when the “before” photo was taken.

“Every day, we see so many before-and-after weight-loss pictures,” Crabbe tells Us Weekly. “I started posting reverse before-and-afters just to show people that happiness really isn’t a size and that you can be happy in the body that you have, even if it is bigger than it once was.”

Lately I’ve been wondering how I made it out alive. Because really, I shouldn’t be here. 7 years ago I was lying in a hospital bed and my parents were being told that I might not make it through the night. 6 years ago I was binging until I was sick. 4 years ago I was working out every day until the room started spinning and everything went black. When starvation wasn’t enough there were laxatives and diet pills, ANYTHING to make me smaller. Anything to make me more perfect. I don’t tell you about those times in my life to leave you shocked. And I never want you to think that you have to look like the picture on the left for your struggles to be valid – you don’t. Your struggles are so so valid at any size. I tell you about them hoping that you will realise one thing: that if I can go from that fragile girl, 65lbs in a hospital bed completely consumed by anorexia, to the grown, belly roll loving, body positive woman I am today, then anyone can get here. ANYONE. Including you. You can overcome. You can rise up. You can take your power back. And you can sure as hell make peace with your body. You might not see that right now, but I do. So keep going, my love. Rise. ?????

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

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Her most recent side-by-side — in which she responds to her critics asking questions such as “Wait, so you just decided to RUIN your body?” — has gotten more than 124,000 likes and more than 7,000 comments. Many of them are supportive, but some of them question whether her choices are healthy.

“People think that because I’m bigger, I’m dying, which is just ridiculous,” Crabbe tells Us.

I wanna take a minute to answer a question that I get asked a lot: how did I gain weight? Every day someone asks me this, usually they’re naturally slim and since Kardashian curves are the new ideal, they think they need to gain weight to be beautiful. I’ve gained a hell of a lot of weight over the years, so here’s my answer: I did not intentionally gain weight to have the body I have now. I didn’t decide what size I wanted to be and then force myself into it. This is the body that recovery gave me. This is the body that being mentally free gave me. This is my happy body. When I post about loving it, I am NEVER saying that other people need to have a body like mine to be worthy of self love. Nobody in the body positive community is promoting a particular body type as the key to happiness. Whatever body type you have right now, you are worthy of self love. Me telling naturally thin people how to gain weight to fit an idea of beauty, is no different from me telling naturally bigger people how to lose weight to fit an idea of beauty. It’s just not body positive. At all. Whatever body type you have when you’re mentally free and at peace with food/exercise – that is your happy body. Whatever size or shape, including people who are just supposed to be thin. So no, I can’t tell you what I did to gain weight. Because the only answer is that I found freedom and grew into the body that I was always supposed to have. Your body freedom will look different from mine. And it will be equally worthy of love, no matter what. ????? P.s. to anyone currently in recovery from a restrictive eating disorder – THIS IS NOT ME TELLING YOU THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO GAIN WEIGHT. Remember, mental health is what counts here. And however recovery makes your body look, THAT is your happy body. You’re worthy of love every step of the way, but you have to let your body heal however it needs to. All my love. ✨ P.s. a few of the bopo babes realised #thisismyhappybody NEEDS TO BE A THING! So let’s make it a thing ?

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

Related: Celebrity Weight Fluctuations: Stars With Ever-Changing Bodies

When she was thinner, she tells Us, “I was miserable; I was torturing myself. I was working out, like, three hours every day and eating so little. I was hungry and moody and miserable and I still wasn’t happy with my body.”

Since surviving anorexia as a teen, Crabbe has struggled with binge eating, exercise addiction and yo-yo dieting, but has now settled into the body she always fought against. “I never thought I’d be able to be happy in this body, this body that isn’t a size 6, that isn’t supertoned and superlean, but it’s soft and it’s comfortable for me,” she tells Us.

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