This Woman Credits Weightlifting And Instagram For Her Recovery From Anorexia

[Heads up, a few of these images border on NSFW]

Strong is the new skinny. If anyone knows this best, it’s Silvia Fasciens, who credits weightlifting — and Instagram — with saving her life. Fasciens began restricting her food intake at eighteen years old, after leaving a professional basketball team she played on and falling out of contact with her teammates.

“From the moment I left the changing rooms, my teammates, who had been like my siblings, never considered me again,” she told the Daily Mail. “That made me feel abandoned and worthless.”

Shortly thereafter, her grandfather passed away. Her grandmother followed in quick succession. Fasciens started skipping meals, which turned into purging — up to five times a day. She became obsessed with food avoidance. When concerned family members tried to weigh her, she would hide weights in her underwear.

“I had lost all contact with the world — it was just me and the monster sitting on my shoulder clapping me when I starved. 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.” At her lowest, Fasciens was down to 98 pounds.

Everything changed the day that Fasciens logged on to Instagram and found a picture of a girl who was both lean and toned. “Something clicked and I began to think that I could be that girl too,” she said. “Instagram saved my life by making me see a real life story of what doctors or people were just telling me, I needed proof and Instagram gave it to me.”

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(🇬🇧👇🏽) 🇮🇹 un po di motivazione in questo cupo lunedì. Chiunque voi siate, qualunque sia il vostro obbiettivo nella vita, sappiate che solo se lo volete davvero lo potrete ottenere. Ma dovrete volerlo con tutto il cuore e con tutta L anima. Io ho desiderato guarire con ogni cellula del mio corpo, io ho desiderato questa felicità e spensieratezza con tutta me stessa. Finalmente il mio cervello non è occupato da solo i pensieri sul cibo e finalmente mi piace il corpo che vedo. Non è stato né facile, né immediato. Il mio percorso ha richiesto tanta forza, coraggio e tempo. Ma lo volevo davvero, e questa mia testardaggine, mi ha concesso di farcela. 🇬🇧 whoever you are, whatever your objective in life is, be aware that only if you truly want it you will be able to get it. I desired to be free with every cell of my body, and I wished for this happiness and freedom with all of myself. I can finally eat carefree and my brain can think about many things other than food! It wasn't neither easy, neither immediate. It took time, courage and strength, but the desire to be free beat everything. #motivation #motivationmonday #anarecovery #anoressiaitalia #fitness #fitfam#health #healthy #loveyourself #life #edrecovery #strongnotskinny #abs#muscles#bodybuilding #bodybuildingmotivation #transformation #eatingdisorderrecovery #recoveryisworthit #salute #eattolive #mangiaresano #eattogrow #muscle #workout #gym #gymaddict #strongisthenewskinny #strongnotskinny

A post shared by Silvia Fascians 💪🏽🌙 (@silvia.fascians) on

With her brother’s help, Fasciens began weight training, and slowly started to turn her body into a strong, toned machine. But it wasn’t a straight road to recovery.

“Many times I fell,” she admitted to the Daily Mail. “Many times I got back into old habits and many times I thought that I couldn’t do it…Anorexia completely changed my life for the worst. I took it as a means to change my life for the best.”

Now, Fasciens is up 28 pounds from her lowest weight, and shares inspirational posts daily on her Instagram page, @building_muscles. She’s got plans for her future, too: this September, she starts an MSc program in Food Marketing and Business Strategy.

“It’s funny to think how a few years ago food was my nightmare and now it is my main source of joy,” she said. “I want to keep motivating, sharing my past and present life with people.” And with nearly 16,000 followers on Instagram, it looks like she’s well on her way to her goals.

Check out some more great pictures from Fasciens’ Instagram account.