Lurking on Instagram can be a gut-wrenching experience for anyone battling an eating disorder, considering how many of us take endless photos of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. For Swedish 18-year-old Antonia Eriksson, Instagram is where her journey began when she was admitted into a hospital for anorexia not more than 15 months ago.
"So I don't know for sure yet, but tomorrow I'm probably being put in hospital for my eating disorder," Eriksson wrote on her first Instagram photo. "I just can't fight it on my own anymore and it's gotten really serious and out of hand. I'm anyway considering starting a blog so I can write about my life and my disorder in a better way, what do you think?"
Using the popular photo-sharing app, she documented her struggle with food and her recovery one snapshot at time.
"My heart and organs were giving up, my bones were weak, and my reflexes had stopped working," Eriksson told The Daily Dot. "I had given up, and if I hadn't been admitted to the hospital then, I don't know if I would have survived another night. My weight was at 38 kg [about 84 pounds] the day I was admitted."
As EatMoveImprove on Instagram, Eriksson posted images of her stay in the hospital, hard-to-look-at selfies at the beginning of her journey, and images of her desperation in wanting to give up. Slowly but surely, she began to post photos of healthy food she no longer thought of as the enemy.
Eriksson posts selfies throughout the months showing her steadily growing healthier and happier. "Recovery is possible," she posted with a before-and-after selfie.
Sharing her photos not only keeps Eriksson motivated, but one only has to read some of the hundreds of comments left from her followers to know that she's inspiring others to seek help and start living better.
"I've been where you are and have 'recovered' but still fight this battle every day! Keep up the good work, girl!" Instagram follower raeabbott posted.
"My weight and body image is something that I struggle with a lot, so reading about yours gives me a little more hope," commented another follower named vaniamyers.
Recently, Eriksson posted an inspirational message, "It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be." That sums up her journey with food, fitness, and friends made on Instagram rather well.