Model, boxer, and body positive activist Mia Kang just got real on Instagram about her history with an eating disorder—using a before and after-style photo.
The “before” photo was taken in 2015 when Mia was a size 2. “I hadn't eaten solid food in 10 days and smoke a pack of Marlboro Lights a day,” she wrote:
“I was obsessed with my collarbones, ribs and hip bones showing. I was obsessed with having a thigh gap. I was about to shoot Sports Illustrated Swimsuit for the first time and was trying to look like a VS angel. I was told by the industry I never looked better but still had a little more weight to lose. I hated how I looked so much I thought I was fat and lived in constant anxiety.”
Three years later, Mia says she’s a size 8. “I feel like I finally became a woman. I love my thighs, my curves. I love my strength and the fact I can probably whoop your ass,” she wrote. “I still have insecurities as I adjust into my new body, just like everyone else. But I know my body, respect it, and love it.”
People gave Mia serious props in the comments. “This is so empowering to see, especially because it makes me feel like I’m not the only one,” a commenter wrote. “You look beautiful, happy, healthy, and strong as hell. Thank you for being real,” another said.
Mia isn’t the only model to get candid about struggles with eating disorders. Victoria’s Secret model Bridget Malcolm revealed in March that she’d been “at war” with her body for years. And model Hunter McGrady told Women's Health in February that she starved herself as a teenager to be a size 2—yet her career didn't take off until she embraced her natural body type.
Of course, Mia wants to make it clear that her journey to body acceptance isn’t seamless. “It isn't easy for me to post these pictures because I still have a disease that I have to live with for the rest of my life,” she wrote in her caption.
“A small part of me looks at me now and hates it. Eating disorders and body dysmorphia don't just disappear but you can learn how to manage it and heal,” she continued. “I want to show women that it's ok to gain weight. We have the pleasure of having fluctuating bodies, enjoy your curves, enjoy being a WOMAN. Be healthy and be confident. We have one body and one life, don't let your insecurities hold you back from happiness.”
Preach it, Mia.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US