A plus-size woman who spent years starving herself in an attempt to lose weight has revealed how she finally found the confidence to show off her natural figure on social media – despite facing daily criticism from trolls who label her a ‘whale’.
Teacher Megan Fisher, 29, who is originally from Pennsylvania, never felt confident in her body growing up and didn’t have the confidence to approach boys due to her low self-esteem.
After school Megan, who weighs 300lbs, found herself in an unhappy relationship where she was living with her boyfriend at the time and was in a job as a bank cashier that she didn’t enjoy.
Proud: A 300lb woman has revealed how she learned to love her body after starving herself for years in an attempt to slim down
Flaunting her curves: Megan Fisher, 29, who lives in New York, says she spent much of her life feeling unhappy about her appearance – however she has now learned to love her natural body
Changes: The teacher, who is originally from Pennsylvania, had booked to undergo a gastric bypass in a last ditch attempt to lose weight
Ever since her teens, Megan thought that the key to happiness was losing weight and tried countless fad diets over the course of her teenage years and early twenties, including Atkins, keto, paleo, and Isagenix.
She even tried to starve herself, thinking that it would help her to shed weight.
In January 2014 Megan was going through pre-op preparation for a gastric bypass which was scheduled for the following month when she discovered Tess Holliday and the body positive movement.
Inspiration: It was at that point that she came across plus-size model Tess Holliday (pictured) and the body-positive movement, and that gave her the confidence to embrace her own curves
She realized that she too could be happy and confident in her size 22 and 300lb body and didn’t need to lose weight. Instead of trying another diet and falling off the wagon, Megan decided to leave her boyfriend and job and moved to New York City soon after.
Despite it being the scariest thing she has ever done, the move changed Megan’s life as she learnt how to be independent – and this means not settling for any man.
Megan feels her most confident when she’s wearing one of her 50 bikinis, crop tops and short shorts that show off her incredible curves and shares her body positive pictures on Instagram to encourage other women to ditch their body insecurities and love themselves.
Whilst she has received an outpouring of support saying she has inspired other women, cruel trolls have labelled her a ‘whale’, ‘cow’, and told her that she’s going to die early but Megan will not be deterred and unapologetically continues to post snaps of her living her best life.
‘My life before I moved to New York City could be described as dull. I was unmotivated to make any changes in my life, mostly due to fear, and therefore very unhappy,’ said Megan.
‘I was in a miserable job as a bank cashier making low wages. I was living with a boyfriend in a relationship that was not right for me. I was unhappy with my body because I did not know what happiness even was.
‘I would never have worn a bikini until I moved to New York and found my new mindset of self-love. In high school, I was so self-conscious of my body and truly believed I would never be able to have a boyfriend until I lost weight.
Criticism: Megan now shows off her curves online in a host of bikinis and crop tops, and she says she feels more confident than ever, despite facing cruel jibes from trolls
‘Whale’: She has been called all kinds of horrible names, including a ‘whale’ and a ‘cow’
Harsh: Others have accused her of ‘promoting obesity’ and have told her that she is going to ‘die’ early because of her weight
‘I was too afraid to talk to guys in high school because of how I felt about my body at that time.
‘Now, I think some men believe they can message fat girls and that we are obligated to talk to them just because they’re giving us attention, but they are so wrong.
‘Fat women do not have to settle for any man, we have plenty of amazing options.
‘I had been on at least one fad diet per year since I was in eighth grade. I’ve tried Atkins, keto, starvation, Isagenix, paleo and more. I even was two weeks out from having gastric bypass surgery at one point but thankfully found the body positivity movement during my pre-op work which gave me the courage to cancel the surgery.
‘I first went to the beach in my bikini with my family on a small lake so it was kind of a stepping stone to being at a large public beach.
‘The first time I did that, it felt freeing. I got some stares, but I was so happy that I didn’t care why they were staring at me.’
Megan has just over 11,000 followers on Instagram and dedicates her time to showing society that fat women can do anything anyone else can. She’s regularly inundated with messages of support from people who say they have been inspired to slip into a bikini after seeing her posts.
Trolls have targeted Megan after seeing her posts and have called her cruel names as well as men messaging her expecting her to be grateful for their attention because she is a bigger woman, she deals with these people by blocking them.
‘I think one of the hardest things has been trolls on the internet who will find certain pictures of me and comment hateful things calling me a whale, a cow, telling me I’m going to die, or that I’m promoting obesity,’ she said.
‘At this point, it’s so played out and my health is between my doctor and I. I block all trolls, but I had a post go viral from the movement @i_weigh where I was not in charge of moderating the comments and it was tough to see how far we as a society have to go with our mindset of fat people just enjoying their lives.
Sharing: Megan wants to be a role model for other curvy women, particularly young girls
Important: ‘I never had someone who was plus size who was so successful saying, “Your current body is not only fine, you can celebrate it. Celebrate you,”‘ she said
Speaking out: Megan urges people to ignore the criticism of others and to wear whatever they feel happiest in
‘I never had plus size role models in my life growing up. Sure, I had plus sized people in my life who I loved but they were constantly trying to lose weight themselves.
‘I never had someone who was plus size who was so successful saying, “Your current body is not only fine, you can celebrate it. Celebrate you.” And Tess did that for me.
‘Knowing how much Tess has helped me with my journey made me realize that if I post pictures of myself normalizing things society says fat girls can’t do like wearing a bikini, crop tops, traveling, dating attractive men, hiking, being fashionable, being happy and eating food in public, that I could help others as well.
‘My goal is to be the role model I needed when I was younger.
‘Currently, I’m living my best life and posting it online for all to see. I try to travel at least five times a year and I post about my experiences as a plus size girl, whether it be about my airplane experiences, traveling solo, or the best food to eat abroad.
‘I also post my outfits I wear and tag each piece so my followers can see fashionable pieces that are available in their sizes. The plus size community on Instagram has done an amazing job at helping each other find more and more trendy stores so that we all don’t have to wear the same plus size clothing and styles.’
Finally, Megan shared her words of advice to others.
‘I am truly my most confident in short jean shorts with a crop top or in a bikini. I love showing off my skin now. If you don’t like it, you can look away,’ she said.
‘If I can inspire any woman to try on a bikini, or wear a crop top, or try anything that scares them a bit, then I believe my work is worth it.
‘I think some of the best advice I could give others is first of all, if someone isn’t paying your bills, then they get no say over what you do with your life.
‘If it makes you happy, then go for it. You truly cannot make everyone happy, even if you’re wearing a large paper bag hiding all of your curves, so why not wear something that makes you feel amazing?’