Plus-size model Danika Brysha has been making some serious waves in the body-positive world. But while she has inspired thousands to practice self-love, she wasn't always so accepting of her own body. In a recent Instagram post, the 29-year-old opened up about her history with eating disorders.
"From bulimia to binge eating disorder to chronic dieting and food addiction, I've spent endless amounts of energy trying to crack the code to my own food freedom," she said, starting her post.
"I had so many judgments about 'good' and 'bad' foods," she continued. "And it finally struck me that all these rules that I thought were keeping me safe were the very things keeping me in my eating disorder." That was the moment Brysha realized she had to make a change.
"I committed to myself to let go of the rules once and for all," she said. "To trust that I could trust myself. And the adventure began."
It's been years since Brysha made that promise to herself and has since developed a healthy relationship with food. "The thing I feared the most, the massive weight gain that I was SURE would happen the second I surrendered the rules, is nowhere to be found," she wrote, continuing her post in the comments. "I don't weigh myself but I'm quite positive that I haven't gained weight. And even if I have, I feel peaceful and free. And that's more a reward than any diet has ever ever given me."
Brysha is now represented by IMG models, joining the ranks of high-fashion moguls like Gisele Bündchen, Gigi Hadid, and Miranda Kerr. "Being a plus-size model actually really helped me with my body image," she told People in an interview. "It was the first time I felt, 'I'm beautiful, and they want me exactly as I naturally am.' I had an aha moment of being like, 'I'm not fat!'"
"I'm not perfect, and we all have our body stuff, but I think the industry has helped me by showing me so many gorgeous, curvy women and acknowledging them as beautiful, and allowing me to be that girl that I didn't see growing up," she told People. "Now I have that opportunity to be that woman that a young girl can identify with over someone who may be smaller, and so she can say, 'Oh, I'm beautiful too.'"