A plus-sized woman who used to obsess over weight loss and once even considered surgery to find happiness has revealed that she now feels her most confident showing off her physique in bikinis – despite being branded a ‘whale’ by cruel trolls.
Megan Fisher, 28, 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 finishing school Megan, who now lives in Brooklyn, New York, was in an unhappy relationship where she was living with her boyfriend at the time and was in a job as bank cashier, which she didn’t enjoy.
Inspirational: Megan Fisher, originally from Pennsylvania, grew up with low self-esteem, as she said she never felt confident in her body
Struggle: The 28-year-old said she never had any plus-sized role models to look up to when she was growing up, which caused her to strive to lose weight
Hard: She tried countless fad diets over the course of her teenage years and early twenties including Atkins, keto, paleo, Isagenix and admitted she even tried to starve herself
Ever since she was 14, 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, Isagenix and even starved herself.
Instead of trying another diet and falling off the wagon, Megan decided to leave her boyfriend and job and moved to New York City in 2014.
Despite it being the scariest thing she has ever done, the move changed Megan’s life as she learnt how to be independent and discovered her passion for teaching.
Change of scenery: In 2014, she decided to leave her boyfriend and her job and move to New York City
In January of 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.
She realized that she too could be happy and confident in her size 22 and 302 pound body and didn’t need to lose weight.
Since this realization, 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.
However, Megan will not be deterred and unapologetically continues to post snaps of her living her best life.
‘My life before I moved to NYC could be described as dull. I was unmotivated to make any changes in my life, mostly due to fear, and therefore very unhappy,’ Megan said.
Sad: ‘I had been on at least one fad diet per year since I was in eighth grade,’ Megan said
Life-changing: Despite admitting that the move was scary, Megan says moving to New York City has changed her life as it has completely changed her outlook on her body
Realization: After never having any plus-sized women to look up to, Megan discovered plus-sized model Tess Holliday and the body positive movement when she moved to the city
Inspiration: Megan says that seeing Tess be so confident in her own skin made her realize that she could be happy about her figure too
‘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.
Acceptance: This helped her to realize that she could be happy weighing around 302 pounds, as she saw other women of different shapes and sizes embracing their bodies
‘I was too afraid to talk to guys in high school because of how I felt about my body at that time,’ she added.
Megan explained that she never had any plus-sized role models to look up to when she was growing up.
‘Sure, I had plus sized people in my life who I loved but they were constantly trying to lose weight themselves,’ she said.
‘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.
‘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.
‘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, travelling, 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,’ she said.
Goal: ‘My goal is to be the role model I needed when I was younger,’ Megan, who regularly shares photos of herself wearing bikinis in order to help inspire others, said
Daunting: Megan said the first time she stepped onto a beach in a bikini she ‘got some stares’, however she said the experience felt ‘freeing’
Positive message: Megan has more than 9,000 followers on Instagram and dedicates her time to showing society that fat women can do anything anyone else can
Megan continued: ‘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.’
Inspiring: The 28-year-old is regularly inundated with messages of support from people who say they have been inspired to slip into a bikini after seeing her posts
Megan has more than 9,000 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.
‘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,’ she said.
‘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.
‘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.
Worth it: ‘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,’ Megan said
Backlash: Despite the fact that she receives a lot of positive feedback online, she has also received comments from cruel trolls who call her names like ‘whale’
Confidence: However, she does her best to ignore the comments, as she said: ‘If someone isn’t paying your bills, then they get no say over what you do with your life’
‘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.
New lease of life! I love showing off my skin now. If you don’t like it, you can look away,’ Megan said
‘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.’
Sharing her words of advice with others, Megan encouraged others to ignore the opinions of others and focus on themselves.
‘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?’ she added.