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Can Instagram Save Lives? This Woman Says it Saved Her From Anorexia

We are a society obsessed with social media. It dominates our lives and dictates our behaviors. Many are beginning to speak out against the trend, but for one young woman in England, social media became the lifesaver she needed.

How it Started 

Emelle Lewis, now a 22-year-old psychology student, first began experiencing symptoms of a deadly disorder at just 15 years of age. Among her group of friends, Lewis felt as if she was the “fat and ugly” member. While her friends were actively dating, Lewis found herself habitually single – a fact that only exasperated her feelings.

It wasn’t long before Lewis began frequenting the gym on a regular basis. What seemed like a healthy habit quickly spiraled into a treacherous battle with anorexia.

The First Signs of Trouble

Her incessant gym addiction spawned an obsession with food in which Lewis would only consume small amounts of Weetabix, rice cakes, and salads.

In addition to frequent gym visits and a strict diet, Lewis refused to allow herself to sit down, even briefly, before 4:00 pm in the afternoon. Lewis quickly plunged into severe weight loss. At the height of her anorexia, she weighed a total of 70 pounds and had to be hospitalized over seven times.

The Turning Point

After several long hospital stays, Lewis began realizing something had to change. “When I first decided to choose recovery I was terrified, I knew once I had made that commitment I had to stick to it so there was a huge part of me that was questioning, ‘am I really ready to let it go?'” said Lewis. “I was also terrified because I thought, ‘what if I fail?'”

Looking for a way to inspire and motivate herself, she turned to an unlikely source: Instagram. Lewis followed several anorexia recovery accounts on the popular social media site, getting inspiration from girls who had battled the disease and won. “Now, I still have bad days towards my body image but most days I am proud of what I have achieved and proud of my body. I love watching myself gradually improving at the gym and getting stronger, knowing that I have done this all on my own,” she said.

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