Online Lives: Olivia Kinsella

Olivia Kinsella has not let fat-shaming trolls get in the way of her blogging.

The Dublin-based graphic designer started blogging in 2010 and TheSkinnyDoll.com focuses on Olivia’s weight loss journey.

“I have lost nearly eight stone now, I had lost 10 stone but life happened and, true to my word, I blogged about the ups and downs,” Olivia said.

I suffer from bulimia and depression, I’ve tried to be as honest as I can online without it affecting my personal life. I attend counselling and my life has improved beyond what I thought it ever could. When I hit rock bottom, I thought I was the only person in the world who felt the way I did about their body

Olivia said she was surprised that her experience led to the growth of a strong online community.

“I had no idea it would grow into such an amazing community. I get so much support from it and I know others do too.”

She said she loves connecting with people around the world on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Day 29 - progress pic... ok so the thing is I’m at the ‘I’m losing the same pounds I’ve already lost’ phase to get back to my 10 stone loss again... there’s no joy of losing them the second time it just isn’t the same... the mental struggle is ‘you’re doing this AGAIN’ so the buzz of hitting goals the first time is gone... but I’ve always got to remind myself that if I was back at the start line I’d be wishing I was where I am now! So bit of perspective please Doll, you haven’t quit and that’s the success of the journey... the journey is mine and I’ve got to be happy with where I’m at... the negative voices in my head cannot win the mind games... also I’d wear a flower in my hair everyday if I could get away with it! x #wwphotoaday #mywwjourney #wwfamily #wwcommunity #wwsisterhood #weightlossjourney

A post shared by A Doll who's just losing it! (@skinnydoll) on

“It’s the one place you can be having lunch in Dublin with people in Australia having their dinner, Americans having their breakfast and enjoy a conversation with both! It’s made the world so accessible to everyone.”

The blogger, who has almost 45,000 followers across social media, said her blog is about feeling comfortable, not fitting in.

“It’s an honest account of the ups and downs of trying to feel happy in my own skin. I never wanted to be ‘skinny’, I just wanted to be ‘normal’ and ‘fit in’. I’ve learned that even that isn’t very important.”

Olivia has been at the receiving end of harassment online.

Dealing with trolls has been tough. I think ‘fat’ people are an automatic target in life, and the comments can be very personal and so hurtful. People tend to forget there’s a real person behind every account

“The idea that there are people out there just trolling all day baffles me. My thinking is if you wouldn’t say it to someone to their face, don’t think it’s OK to say it online.”

Despite some negative experiences, Olivia said hearing from genuine readers makes it all worthwhile.

“Like everything in life, blogging has had its ups and downs and there have been times when I’ve wondered why I was even bothering with it at all, but then you get a message from someone who has felt less alone or motivated to do a recipe or set themselves a goal and it feels so good.”

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