Instagram user ashleyallenfit shared these pictures of her sister. Image Credit: Instagram

Campaign to gain weight goes viral. According to the US-based National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the US. But, eating disorder survivors and body-positive activists are now fighting back with a new social media trend. Arianna Dantone, a Texas-based fitness trainer, kicked off the social media revolution on January 1 by posting a before and after picture of herself with the hashtag #GainingWeightIsCool. Following in her footsteps, women started sharing images of themselves on Instagram and Twitter, grateful for the chance to speak up about their disorders.

TWITTER

@rachelvhx: “I love the #gainingweightiscool hashtag. Just shows improving your fitness helps the head just as much as the body.”

@Erin_Reilly11: “Since the hashtag #gainingweightiscool is trending, I figured I’d post a transformation pic. Not only did I gain weight, I gained happiness.”

@frannnayeee: “I can’t believe that first pic is me? #GainingWeightIsCool grateful.”

@msgraceeymorgan: “My lowest weight vs now. The difference is that now I’m happy and not a prisoner. #GainingWeightIsCool”

INSTAGRAM

donnajoalexander: “About a year ago it would have taken a lot for me to admit that growing and body fat is a great thing. I now understand the importance of it! I am having a blast seeing how far my body has come and watching it grow and can definitely not wait to step on stage in 2018. So here’s to the season to grow and develop. #gainingweightiscool”

ashleyallenfit: “Not everyone’s fitness journey is about weight loss. Pictured here is my big sis Liz, she’s a survivor and an inspiration. For years, she struggled with eating disorders. We grew up in a very stressful household, and her coping mechanism was to restrict food. Before we knew it, she was under 100lbs (45kg) and was slowly withering away. She eventually agreed to seek treatment. She was heathy when she came out, but then we had a traumatic family event happen and she went back to her coping mechanism. Her stress was through the roof. People would stare at her and tell her to go eat a burger. Little did they know, she was going through a personal struggle and hearing comments like that killed her confidence. After a few years, she wanted to stop punishing her body. So she started to exercise. Before she knew it, she was eating more and her stress levels decreased. She also gained confidence, inner-strength and loves herself more than ever. Everyone’s story is different and that is what makes us all unique. So please, no judgement. #gainingweightiscool”

frozen.burpees: “At the gym, I saw an ad on TV targeted to people who want to lose weight. Fast. While I was in the middle of my workout, I just shook my head. Deprivation is a negative perspective that I regrettably used to have. Over the past few years I have learned a lot of hard lessons. Fitness isn’t about hours on a treadmill or becoming a slave to a digital number that tells you how many calories you’ve burned. Fitness is all about becoming a better person than you were before. It’s about gaining confidence when you pursue realistic, attainable goals. #GainingWeightIsCool”

fit.girl.maddie: “You’re right I’ve gained weight. You’re also right that I have colour in my face, a real smile, thicker hair, a muscle in my arm and a better life. I will not let the persisting thoughts of that horrible time in my life consume me. I will rise above those years and focus on becoming the healthiest, strongest, happiest version of me that I can become. Skinny does not equal happy. I was in a size two dress that was falling off my body. Now I wear roughly a four or six and I am so much happier and stronger. It’s all in how you feel. #GainingWeightIsCool”