An Interview with Dani Galvin - The Fantastic Choose Life Warrior!
        Dani Galvin is the warrior choosing life every single day, 22 and living in Brisbane she spreads body positivity and self love through her hashtag creation #CHOOSELIFEWARROR , honouring her curves and inspiring others to recover from their demons. Recovering from Eating Disorders and reaching a purge free milestone of 1000 days, she really is setting a mighty example for others and proving that things really can get better. Fabulous outfit selfies and Instagram captions have helped her gain a following of thousands who are also choosing life, honest, real, beautiful , I am honoured to be interviewing her!

You can find a link to Dani's choose life warrior Instagram page by clicking the images in this interview, all of them will be linked to give her the credit she so rightly deserves!
Let's start interviewing!

  So, is recovering from your eating disorder the reason you decided to start blogging about your journey?

  Originally I was horrified at the amount of thinspriation and pro eating disorder pages on Instagram so I began my Instagram account Chooslifewarrior. It initially was a private quote based Instagram, to inspire people to Choose Life. During my eating disorder my best friend would say choose life whenever I didn't want to eat or I wanted to harm. Choosing life to me means nourishment, self love and self forgiveness. Initially on my Instagram decided to not show anything my life or face. Eventually for me it just made sense that the natural progression be to show who I was. This was scary and confronting but I knew to truly inspire people I would have to tell them my story my way. I believe in being authentically you and therefore I just went for it. I started blogging about my journey on and off for about the last year. Instagram is definitely my main source of inspiration and focus. I find the instant sharing and lack of space for words forces me to get my point across quickly and with passion. I do love to blog too though and I am making a more concerned effort to try to blog more frequently.

Instagram is a fab place for inspiration, was Instagram the reason you chose to practice body positivity?

That's hard to answer, originally at the start of Instagram I was in a bad place emotionally I just went on a holiday to the Gold Coast and had a massive relapse emotionally. A few weeks before I went a doctor whom I saw for birth control weighed me and called me morbidly obese it was an awkward and horrible appointment for me. Resulting in my eating disorder destroying myself. When I started CLW I wanted it to not only inspire others but re-inspire myself. It was to choose life again and eat and overcome my eating disorder. The self love and body positive for me honestly didn't come until I made my Instagram and connected with other girls. Seeing people like @honorcurves @tessholliday @amandakater @icurvy and so many more women who were all different sizes was when I woke up and realised there is an actual community who like me know what it's like to hate your body and come back from that. I started really combining and finding my voice of a combination of eating disorder recovery and body positivity. It made me fall in love with who I was. I learnt not to apologise and decided that to fully recover I would have to learn to love my body. So many eating disorder recovery accounts focus just on eating or gaining back a "healthy" bmi. But I try to do both. I try to understand the complexities of eating disorder recovery and the need for body positivity for everyone at any weight.

I follow all the lovely ladies mentioned above too, they prompted the purchase of nmy first ever crop top! What prompted you to begin to promote self love?

Promoting it was the next step, like okay so I am inspired by X, Y & Z how can I promote this movement and this feeling of absolute body freedom to others? I just started in the most organic way I know to inspire myself and truly embrace what I was preaching. This resulted in other girls saying I was inspiring them and helping them, that for me is the biggest reward and hugest shock. Like little old me? Inspiring people? Get out of town! I couldn't believe that so many girls to this day still love my account while I still have to pick my jaw off the floor everytime I see one of them inspire me. It's crazy. So nice but definitely unexpected I didn't think I would be as embraced as I have been.

 Its true, you are a huge inspiration to a lot of girls on instagram including me! During your recovery from your eating disorder, had self love always been one of your goals?

Definitely not! My goal was get control of my eating disorder but still have the "perfect" body stop purging and restricting but give up my addiction to exercise HELL NO! I wanted the best of both worlds all the while still knowing that I hated my body. The only relationship I knew with my body was hate. I hated who I was even as a personality. The day I realised that you can't recover and continue to hate yourself. Was after a year of therapy when I realised despite changing a lot of my behaviours I still had more bad days than good. I started looking at what I needed to still change and embrace. I knew it was self forgiveness and love but at that point I still didn't think it could be true existence. I didn't think it could be possible. Yet it is! It so is! It's a long journey hell today I'm not having a great one. But I am a million miles ahead of where I was at 18 and that feels great. I make choices out of happiness now not because I feel like I have to, or be someone I should be. My life, myself, my past and future isn't perfect but self love helps me realise that's the awesome part about life, imperfection.

Self forgiveness, love, happiness and health are very important but why do you believe self love is important?

Because it is EVERYTHING. Without self love you will die, you will be killing yourself, restricting yourself not in an eating disorder sense but from experiences, from life itself. Self love is a basic human right. So many of us are afraid or conditioned to believe we don't want to be vain, or self involved, or confident! Yet self love is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. 

Self love is the greatest gift, I like that! Is this your advice for others who are looking to practice self acceptance and being body positive?

Surround yourself with positive like minded people, break away from anyone who isn't serving your purpose of love. I would start small. I encourage therapy! I am a HUGE believer in self love and happiness being taught. Just like self hate is taught and reinforced. You need to start fresh, change the channel and the programmed voice in your head! And basically follow anyone I follow on Instagram haha all of those ladies and gents keep me inspired daily. Forgiveness is also important, forgive yourself if you have a bad day, if you relapse, if you feel you didn't "succeed" today. You are human that's all, life is beautiful and so are you!

What is the hardest thing you had to deal with when learning to accept yourself?

The 18 years previous to my recovery that reinforced my self hate. My eating disorder as well, on average it takes 7 years to fully recover from an eating disorder and even then I think like anyone who has suffered with mental illness it is apart of you and can be triggered and return in the future. Learning to know yourself to the best of your ability is your greatest asset. The other thing I find hard in learning to accept oneself on an Instagram level is to not listen to the small amount of hate I receive. Another level of my Instagram is people have difficulty understanding I am plus size and have an eating disorder. As proud as I am to be a voice for girls like me, it's hard when I am attacked for it, yet hell the women I love most in life also receive hate. It's common and sad but also means that despite even if you're perfect people won't like you. I mostly shrug it off now.

I see a lot of plus sized woman on Instagram being attacked, told to diet and stop eating that! It's horrible, what are your thoughts on the dieting industry?

How long do you have? Haha! I think it's an industry trying to make money, pure and simple. For that I don't blame them. I mean every industry promotes itself in a way that it can make the most monetary gain. The sad part is our society is so entrenched in body issues and self hate, that the diet industry flourishes due to our insecurities. This for me speaks more of our society rather than the industry itself. Of course an industry that can gain money from unhappiness will exploit that right. For me diets, losing weight, body image and eating disorder education needs to begin much earlier. We need to re educate ourselves and look at our children and think what environment are they being brought up in, we need to address our need for perfection and ideal bodies before we hate the diet industry. Like why is the diet industry so successful is the question we need to address? Because the reason it is successful is because hating ourselves is so rife in our culture. This needs to change before we can take down an entire industry. The industry won't exist if we don't have a need for it.

Exactly my thoughts on the industry! Our self hate gives the big men opportunities to create products they know we will buy. How has loving yourself given you opportunities, has it?

So many. It saved me from death, I was very suicidal in the middle of my eating disorder. It helped me fall in love with my boyfriend, I'm a huge believer in you can't love anyone until you love yourself. It has helped me follow my dreams. There are so many things I want to do now because I love myself. It makes me want to experience life outside of my head. Early on in my life I was so very stuck in my thoughts,Now I can just live! 

I'm feeling incredibly inspired already! Do you have any inspirational beings, or articles you can suggest to others regarding self love and acceptance?

My biggest inspirations are in my day to day life, my boyfriend, best friends, my brother and my beautiful parents my padre & mumma. Yet apart from those I gain inspiration from my followers and particularly @tessholliday @honorcurves whom started the effyourbeautystandards and honormycurves movements respectively. I mean wow. In regards to articles and books no not really but one day I hope to write a book on body image and being in your early 20s. Fingers crossed I will someday.

I love Tess and Honorine, the effyourbeautystandards movement and  honourmycurves is fabulous, they're the first body positive movements and motto i came across on instagram! Do you have a body positive mantra or motto of your own?

Of course Choose Life Warrior. Choose life in every sense of the word, eat all types of cuisines, travel everywhere, laugh, wear a swimsuit, dive in lakes, exercise in moderation, smile, laugh, drink too much wine, LIVE! Live in every way you can accept every experience and fall in love... With yourself! 

 I certainly drink too much wine on a night out with the girls, drunkenly dancing to all our favourite songs! What's your favourite positive song?

My favourite positive song is Here Comes the Sun, by the Beatles. It just makes me feel happy and light and reminds me the sun will always come up and each day is a new day to overcome.

 If you were a superhero whose power was to spread to gift of self love, what would you name yourself and who would you gift self love too first?

My name would obviously be Choose Life Warrior and my gift of self love would be too girls at the age of 8! statistically many girls start hating their body at age 8, they become aware of being "pretty" and they start dieting behaviour. I would gift it to girls that age so they can have a great start into their teen years and hopefully become little choose life warriors of their own! 

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