According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 30 million people will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
With so many people dealing with eating disorders, its essential that we talk about them.
Every eating disorder survivor has their own path to recovery as do their bodies (which often do not look the same).
Many people in the recovery community post "before and after" photos to show how far they've come.
However, some feel obligated to share their "before" photo to "prove" their illness to themselves and others.
If someone can't relate to having a "shocking" photo they feel left out while others see "before" photos as triggering which either is detrimental to their recovery.
So some Instagram users took on the "before and after" photos through a hashtag called #BoycottTheBefore.
The posts feature a blacked out "before" image as a way to make it clear that appearance comparisons aren't always reflective of a "healthy" body and mind.
That is why it is so important that we stop thinking of eating disorders as a "visible illness".
As someone in recovery, I am much more than just a comparison photo.
My "before" was sick, lifeless, and trapped. My "after" is free, happy, and better.
I don't have to prove any of that by showing my body.
Instead I will talk about eating disorders and increase public awareness to remove the stigma around them and let it be known that recovery is possible.
For anyone who is suffering or is in recovery from an eating disorder remember: someone else's sickest weight or size is not something you have to compete with.
Our illnesses are real, no matter what.
So let's fight back.
We are much more than comparison photos.