Anatomy of Recovery


Pro-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.

How to tell my housemate who is going no-carb that I do not want his hand-me-down diet wraps that he can no longer eat?  He seems so psyched to give them to me, lol.

(Source: anatomy-of-recovery)


"What are your best tips to pull yourself out of a relapse?" With love, Anonymous.

Reach out and get help.  That’s probably the number one tip.  This keeps you accountable and helps get you back into a place where you’re being forced to put your focus back on coping skills.  Make that call tomorrow if you can to whoever you need to reach out to.

Take your relapse seriously and don’t assume that it will just go away on its own.  It may look different from how you were sick before and don’t let this fool you into thinking it’s not as serious or that you can let it continue.

Create a list of reasons not to get sick again or create a pros/cons list of what you gain and lose from being sick again.  Post this wherever you will see it as much as possible.

Remember that you have learned a lot and that you can apply these things— you’re not back at square one so don’t beat yourself up over it.  You may just be under a different set of stressors.  A relapse can be a good teacher about where your recovery is weaker and needs additional treatment.

I hope this helps.  It’s totally possible to get out of a relapse without letting it throw you off completely as long as you face up to it honestly and reach out for help. <3

"I really struggle to eat chocolate again.. It was something I ate a lot and i'm always afraid I will binge on it or I feel bad for betraying my ed.. How long did it take it for you to be able to face fear foods? and how can I eat without feeling bad ? ://" With love, Anonymous.

I feel like facing fear foods is hard but important.  It’s a way to show that you care for yourself over your eating disorder.  Betraying your ED at every turn is how you gain strength.  It’s hardest the first time you do it, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.  If you’re afraid of bingeing, it can help to get someone on your side who can eat the fear food with you, although this is probably an outcome that is feared more than real unless binging is part of your eating disorder.  It’s a common anxiety to have when reintroducing favorite foods.  Remember that there is always more food!  You don’t need to have it all today.  You can now have it whenever you’d like because you are in recovery and this is about regaining your freedom.  Here’s something I wrote a while back about the steps I think helped me in conquering fear foods.

Everyone probably conquers fear foods a bit differently, but here are some steps that I have used:
  1. Set an achievable goal that pushes your limits.  Sometimes it is good to work your way up incrementally.
  2. Decide on a reward for achieving your goal.
  3. Get someone else involved, if possible.  It is often easier to eat a fear food if someone else is doing it with you.  If you have a friend or family member who you are comfortable with, let them know what you want to do and how they can support you.
  4. Decide what kind of location would be the most comfortable.  Maybe you would feel more comfortable eating the food at home, or maybe it would feel safer to be out somewhere.
  5. Make a plan for what you are going to do after you eat the fear food.  It can be hard to reach out when you are already in feelings of distress, so make this plan in advance.  For me, this usually involves plans to be around people, but in a low stress activity, like watching a movie or going shopping.  It could also be self-care.  Distraction afterwards can help reduce feelings of panic, and actually helps change the brain’s response to encountering the stimuli in the future.
  6. Eat the food!
  7. Follow through with your plans for afterwards.
  8. Eat the food again.  Eating a food once is a big step, but it takes time for the anxiety response to be extinguished.  You can also step up the challenge.  For example, perhaps you had x as a fear food, and became comfortable eating a measured amount of it.  A next step could be eating an unmeasured amount of x, or x prepared in a restaurant rather than at home.

I hope this helps and I wish you all the best in conquering your fear foods! <3

"This is a totally tmi question - how do you deal with constipation, bloating and gas in recovery? I've been in recovery for almost a year now but these issues are still around :/" With love, Anonymous.

Absolutely, these things are no fun at all!  Try seeing a gastroenterologist if you have the ability to do so.  It can take time for things to get back to normal, and the more normally you eat, the better things tend to get, but it’s always good to be able to get a medical opinion.  Here’s a post about bloating that might help.  My personal GI issues tend more towards the gastroparesis, inability to properly digest foods, abdominal cramping, and nausea end of the spectrum right now, but I had similar issues to yours earlier in intense re-feeding.  Definitely talk to a doctor and potentially a dietician if you can because they can recommend medications and dietary changes that might help get things back to a more normal state.  Sometimes there are simpler fixes like drinking a dietician recommended amount of water, doing some gastric self-massage, or modifying certain foods in your intake.  Hope this helps! <3

"HIYA!! is it okay to stay at home all day and sit on my butt and relax? I just finished mock exams and have some days off and this is all id like to do!! but i feel guilty :(" With love, Anonymous.

Dude/Dudette/Dudeness, it’s totally fine!  It’s normal to need to recharge your body and your mind!  Your brain is using up sooooo much energy to do hard academic things and it needs time to recover.  Also, you always owe yourself self-care.  There’s no reason you need to feel guilty.  You are allowed to feel proud for taking care of yourself kindly and it’s an accomplishment to be able to listen to what you are wanting to do.

I am constantly surrounded by images of thin, very young, white women, all over tumblr.  Even in indie images of coffee, apartments, style, hair, breakfast— everything.  

I reblog things I like to my other blog only to look at it and realize that there is no other representation in these carefree images.  

It’s toxic to see this as the default pretty, the casual beauty, the only beauty that we reblog without thinking about it.  

I feel like it reinforces the idea that only my body looking thin, white, and very young is acceptable, even in images that have nothing to do with the media or fashion.  If I’m seeing images of women flipping pancakes in the kitchen, lounging in pajamas, eating crepes with their hair falling effortlessly across their faces, holding hands with their partners, and reading the morning paper, and they all have this thing that I need to stop pursuing, I feel like I cease to exist in the world at all.  It’s not that these bodies are wrong at all.  It’s just that it’s exclusive of so many people.

We need more representation.  We need the random reblogs and the random pretty to be so much more than this.  I need to do a better job of finding these images and we all need to do a better job of increasing representation.

Dear Tumblr,

Please don’t send me messages with your weight and caloric intake.  I don’t post numbers, these messages are triggering often enabling, and I’m not a medical professional, only a biologist.  You can communicate your feelings without numbers, and that is a skill that will serve you well in your recovery.

Much love,

Jules

My pain medicine is making me so nauseous that I can’t sleep.  When it’s not an eating disorder it’s a chronic illness.  My eating disorder related nausea is getting so much better but these new pain meds are just killing me.  But if I don’t take them every few days I end up having flare ups that make it feel like I can’t get through my day.  I’m not sure I want to continue on this medication (tramadol).

Anonymous asked you:

[ TW KCALS ] Do you gain immediately from a binge? 😞 If your intake was restricted to x kcals and your binge contained x kcals?

Edited to redact numbers.

I feel like answering this question directly would be enabling you.  You are not going to gain actual weight from a binge like that, but the number may go up temporarily.  If you took the food you had and stood on a scale holding it in your arms, the number would also go up.  Folks also tend to retain water after a binge.  This will clear up and not be permanent.

However, this is all minutia.  Restricting and binging take a toll on your physical and mental health.  I suggest strongly that you get help if you’re not already doing so.  Your intake is severely restricted and binging is something that also needs to be treated.  You seem to have a lot of anxiety about the potential for weight gain, and all of these things point to the need for professional intervention.

And the boyfriend just ended up yelling at me about eating disorder stuff and then getting upset about having yelled at me.  Everyone hurts.

I post pretty much every year about the fact that the “freshman 15” is a myth, so here’s your annual post, incoming freshmen.

The article contains numbers such as weights and BMIs as scientific data, so if you’re triggered by those sorts of things, please avoid it.  The conclusion of many large studies has been that it just isn’t a real thing.

That extreme hunger thing though…

Turning 24 means that I was diagnosed with anorexia 10 years ago.

Wow.  Okay.  So maybe this is the year that I really fix stuff for good?

"Hello. I was wondering if you could help me, since you know what I'm going through. Or possibly going through, I don't even know. I'm pretty sure I have an eating disorder, it just seems so tiny and insignificant compared to what other people may be going through I don't even know if my problems are worth solving. I've never really talked to anyone about it before so I might be rambling, sorry. But I want to get better, but I don't want to involve my family and friends; it's not fair to them." With love, Anonymous.

I think that if you’re suffering, you deserve to feel better.  There’s always going to be someone worse off than you but that doesn’t take away the fact that you’ve got whatever you’ve got going on.  Many people with disordered eating have thought distortions that minimize their problems.  Your problems are always worth solving.  Your family and friends are there because they want to support you.  Wouldn’t you want to support them if they were in a similar situation.  Don’t discount yourself.  Treat yourself how you’d treat your friends.  Find compassion for yourself.  Wanting to get better is really great.  You may have an eating disorder, you may have disordered eating that could develop into an eating disorder and you may have disordered eating that just makes you miserable or prevents you from fully engaging in your life.  In any case, reaching out to someone is really important.  You aren’t a burden.  You are a valued member of your family and your community, and that’s a totally fair thing to do.