Anatomy of Recovery

I'm Jules, a 23 year old recent college graduate, currently working and applying for grad school. I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when I was 14. I'm 100% committed to recovery because I know how amazing it can be. This blog is about my journey and any help and inspiration I can offer others on their own journeys.
I tag all my personal pics "julespic" so that you can block the tag if you find them triggering. I also tag all photos of food with the "food" tag in case they are triggering to you.

Ask Me Anything

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Theme by @yosoyprincesa.
"Your shoes look absolutely fine! I wouldn't have noticed they were out of place or anything at all. In fact I'm quite jealous ;) I actually get really annoyed when I see people walking round in £2 which will ruin their feet. Much better to be comfy. I wear big-ass trainers with jeans all the time and no-one says anything :) xx" With love, Anonymous.

Thank you friend :)

I really appreciate the message!

"Look up Senator Wendy Davis and her awesome shoes!" With love, Anonymous.

I love Wendy Davis and I watched the livestream of her filibuster as everything went down.  If I was doing things as important as she was, maybe I’d feel okay about the sneakers.  But I’m not.

"I'm glad u decided to keep the sneakers! I know that whenever I see people with jobs that involve being on their feet a lot, I don't begrudge them comfy footwear at all! Everyone who'll see u will totally understand that the shoes are part of ur job & comfort & not to make a fashion statement:) also, I feel awkward wearing sneakers with jeans too & I found that I like them alot better if I roll up my jeans a couple times?(Just something easy u can try & see if u like! &btw I love the blue ones!)" With love, Anonymous.

I now I feel like everyone is going to be looking at me and just thinking about my job and how it’s sad that I have to look awkward for my profession rather than looking at me and thinking that my outfit is cute or whatever.  It’s not like the kind of job where people are like, you’re wearing scrubs so of course you can wear sneakers or you’re working outside or something.  Can I just be invisible yet please :(

I’m sorry.  I really appreciate your kindness.  I’m being ridiculous.

"Regarding your sneakers post, I think the blue ones could actually look really cute paired with the right dress/skirt. Plus, if you're to be on your feet all day, no one will judge you for trying to stay comfy! Cheers love" With love, Anonymous.

Thank you!! xx

"How do you feel about people who suffer from anorexia or bulimia but don't fit the stereotype of that disorder? Like what are your thoughts and opinions on it/them?" With love, Anonymous.

I’m not sure why I would have any thoughts or opinions about them aside from compassion and wanting them to be able to get help and support?  

I feel like it must be especially challenging to get support when you don’t fit people’s ideas of what eating disorders look like or who suffers from them.  There are a lot of different stereotypes that people have about who gets these disorders, as well as how their disorders play out.  There are a lot of cultural complexities that come into play as well as clinicians who may have their own biases.  People can be neglected and not receive the treatment that they need.  I think that people who suffer from eating disorders and who don’t fit the stereotypes deserve the support of the entire community, as well receiving support for having their voices heard.  Adding these stories to the narrative of the understanding of eating disorders is absolutely critical.

"You are the best, the smartest, the most mature, the most beautiful" With love, Anonymous.

Thanks hon :)  

I wouldn’t say I’m the “most” of any of these things but I really appreciate your kind words. <3

"Your blog makes recovery look realistic. Thank you for your honesty" With love, Anonymous.

Thank you so much for this message.  It’s really what I aim for and I appreciate so much that you feel this way and sent me this kind message. <3 <3

"You are such a beautiful person in every single way." With love, Anonymous.

Oh, goodness.  Thank you.

"I don't have an ed, but my sister does and i'm curious, do people with anorexia feel hunger? I get the impression they do but not in the same way, like is it just a feeling you don't associate with eating?" With love, Anonymous.

I think you might get a different answer to this depending on who you ask and what phase of disease they’re in.  In my experience, it’s both.  I’m sure every person has a slightly different experience.  Physically, my hunger disappeared but it was all my mind could think about.  I spent hours online looking at food blogs or recipes and planning out things that I would never eat.  I also had dreams and nightmares about eating large amounts of food.

 It also depends on what part of the illness you are in.  Many people experience hunger for a while, but after a certain point the hunger stops as the body shuts down.  A slowed metabolism decreases hunger signals, and it also decreases everything else the body does.  Also, the strong feelings of anxiety about eating/food/the body seem to overwhelm the mind and block out the hunger.  The feeling of hunger can incite panic, which can make one adverse to eating.  Eventually someone can feel like hunger and eating are not connected the way they are for most people.

 Getting hunger cues back is an important part of recovery and hunger can be kind of unpredictable when people begin to refeed.  During recovery someone might experience both underactive hunger and extreme hunger as the body tries to readjust to eating, digesting, and metabolizing.  Again, these are just one person’s experiences.

If you’re interested in learning more about the physical and psychological impacts of starvation or semi-starvation, you might want to read about the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.  Wishing you and your sister all the best <3

"I just wanted to say that I love your blog and u rock." With love, Anonymous.

:)  Thank you lovely person :)

"So, i have a friend. He has a lot of shit to deal with at hone and a lot of pressure to be perfect at everything. His parents are divorcing and his dad is a vicious alcoholic. And anyways... Three days ago he told me he was gonna start working out to de-stress and whatever. i thought it was great until he told me he was doing 300+ crunches a day and other exercises. I know the signs all too well that this is going to become a huge problem. Im just worried and i dont know what to do. Suggestions?" With love, Anonymous.

I’m really sorry to hear that your friend is in such a rough situation; that’s a lot for anyone to deal with and I can see why he would be looking for ways to de-stress.

I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about this necessarily becoming a huge problem in the way that you’re imagining.  Exercise looks different for everyone and you are not his trainer or doctor.  Repetitive exercises can cause injury for some people and it’s often helpful for people to have assistance when they begin to work out.  You are probably not qualified to judge whether or not his exercise is excessive or whether it is excessive due to mental illness.  It’s only been three days, so he probably doesn’t have things figured out yet at all.  For many people without eating disorders or BDD, exercise can be a very healthy coping mechanism.

You can always talk to him and let him know that you’re concerned that his exercise might become excessive or compulsive, especially if there are other things that are making you concerned.  I think letting your friend know that you are there to support him no matter what is the most important.  He’s going through a lot, and letting him know that you’re there is going to be very important.  You can always take next steps if things escalate or if he feels like he needs help, and you can also offer ways to get help because, regardless of the exercise, he is still someone who is going through a lot of rough stuff right now.  Suggesting professional help to someone who is going through a lot can be a kind thing to do, and then the professional is the person who is assessing your friend and their behaviors.

"Does anyone else in your family suffer from an eating disorder?" With love, Anonymous.

Yes, my mother does.

"What college did you go to? Are you back home until grad/ job? Sorry just curious" With love, Anonymous.

I’m not comfortable sharing what college/university I went to (I went to two) publicly, so come off anon for that.  I’m in an apartment in Boston and working right now.  This fall, I’m applying for graduate school for the next year.  Thanks for the question!

"why did you relapse back then ? Wasnt things going well or didnt you get "good" help?" With love, Anonymous.

It was complicated and I’m still sorting out some of the reasons behind it.

I’m not sure I want to type it all out again, so here is a link to an older post about it.

"you have an amazing body image!" With love, Anonymous.

Haha, thank you!  I’m not entirely sure where you got this idea from.  I try to be as body positive as I can be and share my successes with you all.  Sometimes I like my body.  Oftentimes I don’t, but it could certainly be worse.  I think that objectively from the outside, it is often good.  But I get caught up in obsessions.  I am accepting the fact that there are certain things that I’ll probably never like about my body and I might just have to ignore them.

I’m glad that you think I have a positive body image and thank you for reminding me that I’ve definitely made progress in this regard.  I don’t want everyone to think that I have a great body image, especially all the time, because that’s not realistic for other people to want to emulate.

I wish that I was more of a body image and body positive role model than I feel like I am.