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Influencer who documented her anorexia battle on social media dies aged 24

An Instagram influencer who shared her anorexia journey on social media has died aged 24 after going without food for ‘two days’ ahead of a holiday to Gran Canaria.

Josi Maria, from Kiel, Germany, was praised for openly discussing her eating disorder and posting images from her day-to-day life on social media.

The star recently revealed to her 135,000 followers that she was going on a trip to Gran Canaria, but her mother later announced she had passed away shortly after the flight. 

Josi is said to have died of heart failure due to circulatory problems as a result of her eating disorder.

Just days before her death, she told her Instagram fans she did not want to be someone who dies of anorexia. 

The star (pictured) had openly shared her anorexia journey on social media

Instagram influencer Josi Maria (left and right), who shared her anorexia journey on social media, has died aged 24

Josi (pictured) recently revealed to her 135,000 followers that she was going on holiday to Gran Canaria but her mother later announced she had passed away shortly after the flight

Josi (pictured) recently revealed to her 135,000 followers that she was going on holiday to Gran Canaria but her mother later announced she had passed away shortly after the flight

The 24-year-old is thought to have been travelling with friend Vanja Rasova who she had met on the internet.

Vanja, 28, told German newspaper Bild that Josi had drunk two coffees ahead of the flight but ‘hadn’t eaten for two days’.  

Speaking about Josi’s death, she said: ‘Josi asked if I could give her a brief hug and lie down with her for a moment.  I then did that in the hope that she would eat something. I fell asleep shortly after her.

‘When I woke up shortly after midnight, I noticed that she was no longer breathing. I tried to wake her up. When it didn’t work out, I went down to reception to get help.’

Josi’s mother has since taken to social media to comment on her daughter’s last Instagram post which was dated three weeks ago. 

Josi (pictured) had gathered 135,000 followers on social media after candidly sharing images from her day-to-day life

Josi (pictured) had gathered 135,000 followers on social media after candidly sharing images from her day-to-day life 

The 24-year-old (pictured) is thought to have been travelling with friend Vanja Rasova who she had met on the internet when she died

The 24-year-old (pictured) is thought to have been travelling with friend Vanja Rasova who she had met on the internet when she died

She wrote: ‘The day before I held you dear Josi in my arms, we went shopping and you are looking forward to Christmas and your vacation. 

‘The following night you fell asleep peacefully in your girlfriend’s arms on Gran Canaria. Your little heart just stopped beating.’

She later added: ‘You were an angel on earth. For your fight against this serious disease, we loved you, admired you until the very end, and yet we had to watch helplessly as you lost this battle.

‘You still had so many plans. You will always be in our midst, deep in our hearts, just unforgettable. I miss you so much, your mummy.’

Vanja also shared a tribute to Josi on Instagram which read: ‘She has motivated many of you every day to see the positive in everything and to stay strong.

Josi (pictured) regularly posted selfies from the gym as part of her discussion around her eating disorder

Josi (pictured) regularly posted selfies from the gym as part of her discussion around her eating disorder

Josi (pictured) is said to have died of heart failure due to circulatory problems as a result of her anorexia

Tributes have since been made to the influencer (pictured)

Tributes have since been made to Josi (left and right) who is said to have died of heart failure due to circulatory problems as a result of her anorexia

‘As God wanted, she is now upstairs with the angels and looks down at us. It leaves a great void.

‘Your message that we should never forget: “It is important that you stand by yourself and say yes I need help.” Accepting help is a sign of strength.’ 

Others paid tribute to the social media star, with one person writing: ‘I cannot put it into words, we have been friends for years and have experienced so much together. You will always have a place in my heart, you fighter. I miss you.’

Another person wrote: ‘I can’t believe it, I don’t want to admit it. You didn’t deserve that. You were so incredibly strong.’

In June, Josi had posted a photo of her in the gym, with the message: ‘No, I don’t take this picture because I’m proud of my appearance. And no, I am also not posting it because I want to motivate others to look like me.

Before her death, Josi had tragically confessed her fears about losing her life to her eating disorder (pictured)

Before her death, Josi had tragically confessed her fears about losing her life to her eating disorder (pictured)

In June, Josi (pictured) had posted a photo of her in the gym, with the message: 'No, I don't take this picture because I'm proud of my appearance. And no, I am also not posting it because I want to motivate others to look like me'

Josi pictured in a photograph posted to her Instagram account

In June, Josi (pictured) had posted a photo of her in the gym, with the message: ‘No, I don’t take this picture because I’m proud of my appearance. And no, I am also not posting it because I want to motivate others to look like me’

Josi (pictured) also voiced her struggles throughout her battle, once writing: ' Anorexia is not a matter of weight, but of the head

Josi (pictured) also voiced her struggles throughout her battle, once writing: ‘ Anorexia is not a matter of weight, but of the head

‘In fact yes, the reason I am posting this picture is because I am on a journey and I want you to join me. I want to share my thoughts, and show that I am actively fighting anorexia. I also want to say, that we should not hide ourselves away no matter what psychological illnesses we have.

‘And I want to say to everybody who doubts themselves that you are all wonderful, and be yourself and don’t try and change. Follow your dreams, fight hard, and you will see the rewards.’ 

Before her death, Josi had tragically confessed her fears about losing her life to her eating disorder, posting: ‘I don’t want to be one in 10 who die from anorexia.’

She also voiced her struggles throughout her battle, once writing: ‘Anorexia is not a matter of weight, but of the head.

‘That it is not always just the will to be thin, but that there is much more to it: performance, confirmation, control. And that it is an uphill battle to go against it, to gain weight, to find joy in life again.’

WHAT IS ANOREXIA? 

Anorexia is a serious mental illness where a person restricts their food intake, which often causes them to be severely underweight. Many also exercise excessively.

Some sufferers may experience periods of bingeing, followed by purging.  Sufferers often have a distorted view of themselves and think they are larger than they really are.

Untreated, patients can suffer loss of muscle and bone strength, as well as depression, low libido and menstruation ceasing in women. In severe cases, patients can experience heart problems and organ damage.

Behavioural signs of anorexia include people saying they have already eaten or will do later, as well as counting calories, missing meals, hiding food and eating slowly.

As well as weight loss, sufferers may experience insomnia, constipation, bloating, feeling cold, hair loss, and swelling of the hands, face and feet.

Treatment focuses on therapy and self-help groups to encourage healthy eating and coping mechanisms.

Source: Beat Eating Disorders

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