DENVER — A Denver-area rising Instagram star wants to empower women to embrace who they are.
Julia Parzyck is an eating disorder recovery coach who uses her nearly 40,000 followers to help others struggling with body image issues.
“Comparing yourself to everyone on the internet is probably one of the biggest issues I see with my clients because everyone is always posting this glamorous life,” Parzyck said.
She said her plan was never to become an Instagram influencer, but that's exactly what she is.
But it wasn't always that way: The confidence she now possesses was not always there.
“I was just going through puberty. and I was being bullied about my weight and I just felt my body was the issue, and I ended up developing bulimia and that turned into orthorexia,” Parzyck said.
As she got older, things started to get worse.
"I was tracking all of my calories and working out 2-3 times a day; weighing myself 10 times a day, and I just got so exhausted," she said.
With a dietitian and therapist, this star on the rise was able to build a healthy relationship with her body -- something she said is even harder to do nowadays with social media.
“I call Instagram this highlight reel where everybody is posting this perfect life,” Parzyck said. “But the reality is those people are not happy, so I try to teach to not compare and be in competition with yourself.”
Parzyck is spreading the word by showing the world perfection is far from reality.
“Its okay that your body giggles, it's okay to have cellulite, it's okay to have stretch marks," Parzyck said. "That's what makes you human, and those aren't flaws. It's part of life."
Parzyck wants her pictures and posts to have a purpose.
"I don't want women to suffer, and I feel like so many women suffer in silence when it comes to body image," Parzyck said. "So many people have eating disorders and don't know it, so I'm bringing that to life and saying, 'You don't have to live like this.'"
Here message focuses on meaning and self-worth.
“Embrace all that is you," she said.
Parzyck's story has been featured in "Shape Magazine" and "Women's Health Magazine."
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