Morgan Bartley had already battled haters and body shamers while on her weight loss journey. So when Instagram took down one of her posts tracking her transformation, it was just another setback that Bartley took in her stride. Indeed, she chose instead to fight back against the decision – and, in doing so, the inspirational young woman may have won over even more fans.
That plucky spirit, however, was something that Bartley had cultivated ever since she was a pre-teen. Back then, the California resident had had to face a challenge that would have even devastated those decades older than she had been.
Specifically, she had been diagnosed as suffering from ovarian torsion. Moreover, this painful, rare condition would eventually lead to the loss of one of Bartley’s ovaries when she was just 12 years old. At 14, meanwhile, she underwent a surgical procedure to untwist her other ovary.
And following her diagnosis, Bartley even began to face symptoms associated with the menopause. But while those may have been hard enough to deal with, there was still another devastating blow to come. Namely, before Bartley had even reached adulthood, she was told that she may never be able to conceive children.
So, while depressed and facing a considerably bleaker future, the teenager turned to comfort eating. That, in turn, led to her putting on the pounds. However, perhaps the extra weight gain wasn’t an issue for her at first. Indeed, while talking to People in July 2017, she even remarked, “I was overweight as young as I can remember.”
During this period of binge-eating, though, Bartley was becoming increasingly obese. And in the end, she would end up tipping the scales at almost 300 pounds; 70 pounds of that weight, moreover, had been gained within just 12 months.
Within time, however, Bartley realized that things had to change. That meant, of course, that she had to lose weight, and to that end she enlisted the help of a personal trainer. And with the trainer and her new low-carb diet plan, she eventually shed 25 pounds.
She also decided to undergo more surgery – this time, however, it was in aid of her weight loss journey. Specifically, in August 2015 she had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Also known as gastric sleeve surgery, this procedure typically removes a substantial portion of the stomach and, as a consequence, gives those who have been subject to the surgery a much smaller appetite for food.
And, finally, Bartley also bravely decided to document and monitor her progress by posting on a very public forum: Instagram. This way, she could hold herself accountable for her actions as well as offering encouragement to others.
Her first post on the social media site, moreover, was on March 21, 2015 – just months before she received the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. And from that day on, she has used Instagram to update and interact with her followers, of whom there are now many – 167,000, to be exact.
What’s more, all of those followers can now see that Bartley is on the right path. Indeed, since starting on her weight loss journey, she’s improved her diet, goes to the gym more often and has even embarked on counseling in order to tackle the emotional and psychological issues behind her binge eating. And the result of her drastic lifestyle change? 115 pounds lost as of March 2015 – a figure of which she’s rightly proud.
Instead, the post showed two pictures – before-and-after shots – of Bartley in swimwear. One of the images shows the young woman at or near her heaviest weight of 286 pounds, posing in a striped swimsuit with orange juice in hand. The other photo, meanwhile displays a much slimmer-looking Bartley standing in the sea in a multicolored – and relatively modest – tankini.
And neither snap, on the surface, seemed to be any different to those routinely seen across Instagram, where many women also post shots of themselves in bikinis. It’s worth noting, though, that Bartley hasn’t been the first person to seemingly fall foul of the social media site. Fitness trainer Mallory King had also been a victim of Instagram’s arguably overzealous prohibited content policy when her photo was removed in February 2017.
King had originally uploaded an image of herself in which she unrepentantly showed off her cellulite. After King received nasty comments in response, however, she went on to upload another pic to her Instagram account. That showed her again with her cellulite on view and giving her haters the finger.
That image was then reposted by another Instagram page – and was mysteriously taken down. But King didn’t stand for it, calling out Instagram in a further post on her account. And when the same thing happened to Bartley, she didn’t stay silent, either.
Indeed, Bartley subsequently reposted the original snap with a bold and forthright message for her followers and others looking on. It began, “Somebody took their time to report this photo and have it deleted. I think it sucks that people express negativity toward something with only positive intentions.”
Bartley continued, however, “Never let worldly pessimism or judgement prevent you from living your life and celebrating what you’ve done with it.” And it seems as if the whole experience barely made a dent in her determination, as she ended her message by saying, “I’ll continue to be DAMN proud of who I’ve worked so hard to become.”
Furthermore, it turns out that there may be good news for Bartley on the health front. Specifically, a blood test has revealed that her one ovary – while considerably damaged – might be working well enough for her to one day conceive a child. Still, Bartley isn’t counting her chickens just yet; as a safeguard, she has had some of her eggs harvested and frozen, too.
Meanwhile, while Bartley has been on her weight loss journey, it appears as if she has found her calling. That’s because she’s on course to become a personal trainer herself, earning experience through work at a fitness studio. She’s now even studying for a business degree, with her ultimate aim being to found a company that helps others slim down. And given how hard she’s evidently worked in the past, it looks more than likely that she’ll eventually achieve her goals.