Evin Billington
December 04, 2017 04:47 PM

She triumphed over body dysmorphia and realized that being fit and happy has nothing to do with what the scale says. Still, Danica Marjanovic constantly heard from people that she was healthier when she was a size 10 rather than the size 16 she wears today.

Fed up, the body positive activist is clapping back at critics who believe that only skinny bodies are healthy bodies. Marjanovic has taken to Instagram to share her before and after pictures, making the case that accepting her body and even gaining some weight truly saved her sanity—if not her life.

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“My mental health is more important than diet or exercise,” reads the caption in one image, making a point about how unhappy she was trying to be thin. Marjanovic says she’s recovering from undiagnosed anorexia, which she never sought treatment for because she never felt she was “skinny enough” for her food issues to be taken seriously. Now, seven years after overcoming her disordered eating and no longer buying into cultural norms that equate healthy with slim, she’s finally loving herself—and her body.

To her critics, “[my] appearance as someone who was a suicidal size 10 girl with an eating disorder is more admirable than a size 16 woman who has overcome her issues with mental health,” she writes, throwing shade on the idea that being heavy can’t possibly be healthy.

same mirror same bedroom just 7 years on and a whole lot of shit and experiences learnt from. 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’ would you tell an underweight anorexic patient in the early stages of recovery to start exercising to prove she loves her self NO. just because my body does not conform to society’s standards of an eating disorder recovery body does not mean I am not over coming a serious issue with restricting my food. 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 NO not even a SLIGHT idea how far I’ve come with my relationship with food and exercise. From months of therapy I’ve been told I essentially recovered my self out or signs of what sounded like undiagnosed anorexia; want to know why I was never diagnosed? Because I always felt not skinny enough to go get help about my issues with food and body image. So save your ‘I know what self love is better than you’ judgments to yourself and have some basic knowledge and respect into the statistics of eating disorders. If anything I’m trying to make a point of the treatment of bodies that are not skinny even in the treatment of eating disorders – this has to change. 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.

A post shared by DANICA MARJANOVIĆ (@lovefromdanica) on

Marjanovic points out that being thin is not an accomplishment, nor does it reflect a person’s happiness. When she was underweight, she notes, no one commented on her overall health. Now as a heavier person, she says that people feel free to tell her she isn’t healthy.

We’re with Marjanovic here: It’s time we got over the idea that fat bodies are unhealthy bodies, and that all slim people are healthy and happy. As Marjanovic says: “[The] fat on your body has NOTHING to do with how healthy and happy you can be in life.”

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