It’s that special time of year again where people relax a little about what they eat. The cold winter months prompt us to flood into coffee houses in pursuit of a hot beverage and a festive slice of cake. Why not? It’s Christmas, after all.
We tell ourselves that we deserve it because by January 1st we will be signing ourselves up for a frenzied diet in an attempt to shift the additional weight we gained over December (November and October, if we’re being honest with ourselves).
But that’s not the case for everyone.
How would you feel about canceling those diet plans? And disregarding that enticing New Year gym discount? Could you embrace the turkey and Toblerone baby which you will be carrying in a few weeks time?
For Belfast blogger, Danica Marjanovic, this is the plan.
The 24-year-old, who boasts 35,000 followers on Instagram, is on a one-woman mission to encourage body positivity. A self-confessed “fat activist” she wants people to feel happy in their own skin after becoming “miserable” whilst a size 10 (US size 8).
“When I was at my lowest weight I was the most self-conscious, paranoid, anxious, obsessive and self-destructive I have ever been,” the aspiring plus-size model wrote on Instagram. “I’m working on being HAPPY not a dress size.”
Marjanovic, who has suffered from body dysmorphia, is desperately trying to learn to love herself after “years of eating disorders” took their toll on her mental health. Body dysmorphia causes people to become obsessive about perceived flaws in their appearance.
“I wanted to punish my body. I remember now in London clearly wanting to punish my body through starvation as a penance of ‘letting’ my body get obese in childhood. I got a thrill out of the feeling of an empty stomach – my tummy rumbling was a game to see how flat I could make my stomach and if I slept in passed 3pm GREAT! I’ve already skipped two meals without even trying. My mindset was TOXIC.”
“I have really bad memory due to blocking things out as a go-to coping mechanism,” the 24-year-old recalls of her time as a size 10.
“I’ve always had a curvy body, so I think that’s also what played into my body dysmorphia. Even when I was so slim, I was probably about a size 10 on top, [and] to me that still wasn’t good enough.”
“I was so confused and unaware of how damaging my behavior was to my physical and mental body. I would just have to face the consequences of the panic attacks, the deep depression, the intrusive thoughts all because I didn’t know the signs of an eating disorder.”