Nowadays, it seems like social media causes a lot of anxiety and jealousy over people’s seemingly perfect lives. But for one woman, Instagram saved her from herself.
Silvia Fascians, a 22 year old woman from Padua, Italy, tells the Daily Mail how she began struggling with eating disorders after leaving a professional basketball team when she was 18. She lost all contact with her former teammates. “From the moment I left the changing rooms, my teammates, who had been like my siblings, never considered me again,” she explained. “That made me feel abandoned and worthless.” Fascians then began to obsessively control her food.
The death of her grandmother shortly after only deepened the depression Fascians had fallen into, and showed in her dietary control. What started with restricting food led to skipping meals entirely, and ultimately ended up as bulimia. She would “binge and purge up to five times a day” and use tricks to avoid eating. Fascians hid weights in her underwear when her worried family insisted on weighing her to avoid getting the help she clearly needed. She felt totally alone.
“I wanted to disappear from this world and my body portrayed those feelings – my body was empty, I lost any shape or form, and I was reduced to skin and bones.” Fascians dropped to a mere 98 lbs.
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Until one day, a scroll through Instagram offered a life-saving solution. Fascians saw a picture of a girl who was lean but also toned and healthy. This was what her doctors told her she could be but now she had the proof from the one photo. Fascians wanted to be like that girl.
She enlisted her brother’s help to start her training, especially when her therapist cautioned against her exercising away the calories she desperately needed. Slowly but surely, Fascians turned her starving, unhealthy body into a strong, nourished one. She notes that it took a few years before she was wholly recovered.
“It isn’t easy. It isn’t something you just decide to do and it magically happens.” She admits to falling back into old habits, but has pushed forward and broken them in time, repairing some of the damage she has done to her body.
Since then, Fascians has started her Instagram account @building_muscles, which currently has 15.9k followers. Her photos show her toned and healthy, just like the one that saved her life years ago. She will be starting her MSc in Food Marketing and Business strategy in September, but she also works as a fitness and life motivator by sharing her experiences with people.
“Anorexia completely changed my life for the worst,” she explained. “I took it as a means to change my life for the best.”