Mia Kang, a mixed martial arts fighter and model who appeared in both Sports Illustrated and Vogue, shared a very empowering social media post for women suffering from eating disorders.
The post, which the 29-year-old model shared on her Instagram on Monday, goes into detail about her previously unhealthy lifestyle. It was accompanied by before-and-after photos of her size 2 past and current size 8 body.
“I was obsessed with my collarbones, ribs and hip bones showing. I was obsessed with having a thigh gap,” she added.
“I was about to shoot Sports Illustrated Swimsuit for the first time and was trying to look like a VS angel,” Kang continued. “I was told by the industry I never looked better but still had a little more weight to lose. I hated how I looked so much I thought I was fat and lived in constant anxiety.”
“Now… I feel like I finally became a woman,” she said about the right picture. “I love my thighs, my curves. I love my strength and the fact I can probably whoop your ass.”
Kang admitted that her eating disorder didn’t just magically disappear the moment she changed her lifestyle.
“It isn’t easy for me to post these pictures because I still have a disease that I have to live with for the rest of my life,” she said in her post. “A small part of me looks at me now and hates it. Eating disorders and body dysmorphia don’t just disappear but you can learn how to manage it and heal. You can reprogram your thinking.”
“I want to put the images out there that I never had. I want to show women that it’s ok to gain weight. We have the pleasure of having fluctuating bodies, enjoy your curves, enjoy being a WOMAN,” Kang said. “Be healthy and be confident. We have one body and one life, don’t let your insecurities hold you back from happiness.”
The post was inspired by sheer curiosity after she put the two pictures side by side, Kang told BuzzFeed.
“I put the two pictures side by side out of curiosity to see how I’d changed. It reduced me to tears because I remember how miserable and insecure I was,” she said.
Kang added, “I hated myself and though, even in that picture, that I was fat and hideous. I thought Sports Illustrated swimsuit were going to fire me from the shoot because I was so hideous.”
While her body went through drastic changes and helped her regain self-esteem, it doesn’t mean that the struggle has completely faded away.
“I still struggle today, and I struggle with getting comfortable in this new body of mine, in different ways from before but I still struggle,” she told the publication. “We all do, we all have insecurities. I spent my whole life thinking emaciated was beautiful, it’s not easy to then learn to love a curvaceous bigger body, but I’m doing it.”
“I decided to share it. Everybody sees me as the tough chick, the fighter, the invincible. I want to show women being vulnerable doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you’re strong.”
Kang hopes that people who were touched by her social media post will find inspiration to learn how to love their body, and “be the best version of yourself you can be. To wake up everyday happy with who you are because life is too damn short.”
“I spent 27 years of my life hating the skin I was in, I don’t want anyone to go through what I did. I want to alleviate the pressure off of women’s shoulders today,” she added.
Images via Instagram / missmiakang