'Becoming fat saved my life'

Krista Thurrott

After years of struggling with body dysmorphia, Danica Marjanovic went from a size 10 to a 16.

While body dysmorphia, formally called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), doesn’t always present itself in those living with eating disorders, it is still common.

According to Eating Disorder Hope, “behaviours that can be seen as red flags for body dysmorphia, and potentially BDD, include body-checking, negative body talk and an obsession with real or perceived physical flaws.”

Danica gained weight and is now happier and healthier, she says. Photo: Instagram

For Danica these red flags were very real daily occurrences. As she treated her BDD, she went from a size 10 to a 16 – and finally, for the first time in a long time, started to feel healthy again.

Unfortunately, her happiness didn’t matter to part of her online audience. She regularly received negative comments that urged her to work out or eat less.

Tired of people shaming her for gaining weight, Danica decided to speak out against those critiquing her lifestyle, saying that “becoming fat” saved her life.

The 'fat activist' has taken to Instagram to speak up against shamers. Photo: Instagram

“I can’t tell you how many fake health concerns/bullying/ body shaming comments I get that start with ‘I am all for self-love but you should be working out to love your body,” she wrote on Instagram.

“Would you tell an underweight anorexic patient in the early stages of recovery to start exercising to prove she loves herself? No. Just because my body does not conform to society’s standards of an eating disorder recovery body does not mean I am not overcoming a serious issue with restricting my food,” she wrote.

The blogger has gone from a size 10 to a size 16. Photo: Instagram

Danica’s followers were quick to support her and thank her for her honesty. Some even went as far as admitting gaining weight had also helped them take back their life.

“After tons of intensive therapy I have my health and sanity back, but I also gained weight. I feel like I should be ashamed of my chubby body, but I can’t say that I am…the freedom of not being in the grip of an eating disorder is glorious!” wrote one follower.

“People want me to be ashamed of my weight gain and sure maybe I don’t have the ideal plus body or recovering body, but damn I feel better and stronger. I will be proud,” added another.

She is no stranger to bold statements online. Photo: Instagram

Danica is no stranger to making bold statements online, one of the reasons her over 38,000 followers continue to keep up with the UK blogger and “fat activist”.

“No one has the right to then use their ill-informed, ignorant judgment to tell me how I should or shouldn’t be showing love to my body. You have not even a slight idea how far I’ve come with my relationship with food and exercise,” she wrote.

While not all comments were positive, Danica ended her message on a solid note, reminding her followers that it’s never too late to confront your fears.

“My page isn’t just showing you how to be confident it’s about showing you how I have faced my biggest fear in life and turned it into something beautiful.”

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