Swedish Blogger Antonia Eriksson Instagrams Anorexia Recovery with @EatMoveImprove
While the online community can act as a great resource for those struggling with eating disorders, it also has the opposite effect, often bonding together women who want tips, strategies, and encouragement for their unhealthy and dangerous behavior. Searching Instagram for #anorexia leads to all sorts of disturbing images
But Swedish 18-year-old Antonia Eriksson's Instagram account @EatMoveImprove can change the way that people see the battle against anorexia. Eriksson is a fitness blogger who uses Instagram to share motivational phrases, shots of healthy food, and selfies of flexed muscles, toned abs, and muscular thighs — nothing surprising for a teenage health nut. But her first photo is one that startles: it's a picture of a hospital bed, taken 15 months ago when she was admitted into care for a life-threatening eating disorder. She weighed 84 pounds. Her heart and organs were failing and her reflexes had stopped working properly. As you scroll through her account, you can see how she transforms from a sickly-bodied teenager to a healthy, muscular, and remarkably happy person.
Originally launched as an anonymous online diary, Eriksson took proud ownership of the account as she successfully began her recovery process. She had initially chosen Instagram for its anonymity, not wanting to post her struggles and improvements on Facebook for friends to see. Now, through hashtags and networking, other women ready to recover from an eating disorder or improve their lifestyle can easily find her account.
Erikkson is now promoting healthy living through diet and fitness. While pictures of her slim, toned figure could still be considered "thinspiration," they are far healthier images than those of bone-thin, malnourished models and pro-ana community members, and it is obvious that she is achieving her fit physique through proper diet and devoted exercise — not through starvation. Though hashtags like #proanorexia can’t be blocked out entirely, we can hope that Erikkson’s inspiration and enthusiasm catches on, creating more motivational accounts for women to follow.