Don’t let Megan Fool you. She may seem quiet and reserved, but Megan is tough as nails, as any survivor has learned how to be. Megan has been honest and open about her battle with anorexia, and was generous enough to share her story with us, so we can better understand how this disease takes hold of so many young women. She also rocks a pair of specs like no one else on earth.

Lets get to know her better…

Hi Megan, what was it about Shona that drew you and prompted you to become a youth ambassador?

Growing up, I encountered many difficult situations that led me looking for role models and inspiration in life. If the Shona Project was around I would have greatly appreciated the stories, quotes and advice to get me through the hard times. Knowing that others are going through similar things to you and hearing how others got through their rough patches are a big help. I am grateful for The Shona Project as a platform for young women and therefore feel honoured to be part of this youth council.

What do you hope to bring to this organisation?

I hope to inspire others with my story of my battle with mental health and how I got through difficulties in my teen years, especially my journey with anorexia. I hope to help out with decisions made by governance of TSP as well as bringing ideas to the youth panel. I’m interested in promotion and the organisation of events.

How was your teenage experience?

At age 14, I was diagnosed with anorexia. I also struggled with depression and anxiety around this time. I found it difficult to socialise, and with so many appointments, making friends was tough. I studied a lot through secondary school and achieved all A’s in my junior cert. I skipped TY and going into 5th year was hard at first, but I made new friends and started to feel a lot better. I completed my Leaving Cert in 2016 and got my first choice to study Psychology and Sociology in the University of Limerick. I still have my bad days and life can be tough at times, but I’m so much happier than I was back at 14, heaving learned skills to get through the hard times.

What do you wish you could tell your 14-15 year old self?

That I shouldn’t live my life to impress other people, just to be myself and stay true to who I am. That life may be hard at times, but there is so much in the world to be excited about

Whats the most important piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t care what anyone thinks of you. If anyone gives a **** about what you’re doing/ who you are, they are not worth your time.

What do you like most about yourself?

I like how I genuinely care about how others are feeling and am always up for helping them out and giving a listening ear. I like how I’m up for adventure and trying new things, I hate sitting around and waiting for things to happen, I like to make it happen

How do you deal with stress or cope with difficult situations?

I really enjoy colouring when I’m stressed, especially pretty patterns and inspirational designs. Reading has always been my go-to to get my mind off things and relax. When I’m in difficult situations I always make sure I talk to someone I trust, like my Mom or a close friend. Even just having a listening ear without them saying anything helps.

If you could have dinner with any 5 women (alive or dead) who would they be and why?

Miley Cyrus: I know there is lots of controversy around Miley, but I have loved her once she started out in Hannah Montana. She started up the Happy Hippie Foundation which helps with injustice, poverty, LGBT rights, mental health etc. Miley does a lot of humanitarian work and fights for what she believes in.
-Michelle Obama: She’s an unbelievable inspiration to young women all over the globe and would have lots of stories to tell over dinner!
J.K. Rowling: Having grown up in poverty and living off government assistance, Rowling never gave up until her book was published. She is now one of the world’s leading authors and brings much truth to the phrase “never give up on your dreams”.
-Melanie Martinez: Shes my favourite musician, her songs are catchy and have so much meaning!
-Joan of Arc: An amazing woman who dressed as a man to lead the French army to victory. She died fighting for her beliefs and left a strong legacy behind.

What book, film or song means the most to you and why?

‘Mrs Potato Head’ by Melanie Martinez- This song is about the pressure on women to look a certain way in order to feel loved and accepted. It’s a satirical song about plastic surgery and men paying for their partners to change their looks. I can identify with the messages from this song on a personal level as I have gone through terrible body image issues and still currently struggle. The lyric”will a pretty face make it better?” is very relatable, as I always thought that life would be better when I lost weight and looked better. However, when this resulted in an eating disorder, it was only pain and upset I felt.

If we were to have a TSP Christmas party, which song would get you up dancing?

Seeing as it’s a Christmas party, it would have to be a cheesy Christmas song, such as “All I want for Christmas ” or “Merry Christmas Everyone”.

Share your favourite inspirational quote…

” Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well, live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It’s time to start living. “

Big love to Megan, more from her soon xx

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