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

1 2 3 Next
Theme by @yosoyprincesa.
"Hey, I'm the anon with the hair loss problem - thank you so much for responding! I haven't had my hormone levels checked - I'll ask my doctor about it next time I see him. Seriously thank you so much! Jusy another question though - are there any particular foods you recommend to stimulate hair growth? Best wishes for your recovery - take care sweetie!" With love, Anonymous.

You’re welcome, hon!  I don’t really believe in the whole “foods do special things” business.  Foods are going to have a variety of things based on what nutrients are in them but there aren’t any magic foods related to hair.  Here is an article with some suggestions, but remember that the foods they mention are just mentioned because they contain particular nutrients, not because of anything inherent.  They mention Omega-3 fatty acids, protein since protein is the building block for hair, and a few other things  but people with eating disorders also need to think about fats in general since hair and hormones are related, and fat is the building block for these hormones.

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair

"Hey, I have a question. I never went to the doctor's to get diagnosed but I showed behaviours that could be linked to an EDNOS. I lost a significant amount of weight, so much that my period almost disappeared. I knew what I was doing, I only didn't want to stop. Because of the period scare, I started to eat a little more, even though it is very hard for me to see I'm gaining. I keep going anyway, I don't want to die. Is this considered recovery?" With love, Anonymous.

Diagnosis or none, the decision to change your life to get rid of harmful behaviors and thoughts is a way to recover your life.  I think it’s really amazing that you’ve made this choice even though it’s really hard.  I’d encourage you to reach out for support, because you shouldn’t have to struggle with this alone.  You don’t have to be forced into recovery in order to be in recovery.  You don’t have to hit rock bottom to be in recovery.  I would consider what you’re doing to be recovery, but what matters more is whether you identify with being in recovery.  Your happiness is what’s most important, not any label.  You’re working to get your life back and that’s brave.


Read More

Here, followers.  Have this blurry picture of me un-sexily biting my lip with a delicious ice cream sundae.

Here, followers.  Have this blurry picture of me un-sexily biting my lip with a delicious ice cream sundae.

I keep having the thought of like, “Do I really need this food?  Couldn’t I just not have it and that would be fine, because I’m more comfortable with the idea of denying myself something?  Not every single other person on earth would choose to have this food at this time, so I shouldn’t have it either.” but like… an eating disorder literally a DEADLY ILLNESS.  

Every time I’m presented with this dilemma, I need to remind myself that every time I choose not to eat because it would feel comfortable and safe, I am actually choosing death.  Every single choice, every single time.  When it’s like, have some cookies or death, the choice seems a bit easier for me to make.  Just some thoughts…

Ootd: Betsey Johnson princess dress from the thrift store, extreme body dissatisfaction, and a bit of this morning’s coffee.

I had a free birthday drink on my Starbucks card, so naturally I got the biggest one possible since it was free.  I’m really exhausted with the hours I’ve been working.  I just want a day to curl up in bed.  I have been having a lot of food, hunger, and body anxiety, although I haven’t been acting on it.  It sucks to have that in my day.

I had a free birthday drink on my Starbucks card, so naturally I got the biggest one possible since it was free. I’m really exhausted with the hours I’ve been working. I just want a day to curl up in bed. I have been having a lot of food, hunger, and body anxiety, although I haven’t been acting on it. It sucks to have that in my day.

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)

Honestly, going on my dash has become a bit of a minefield.  

I did Maudsley Method as a young teen under the advisement of a nutritionist, physician, therapist, psychiatrist, and family therapist.  My calorie ranges given by my nutritionist were similar to the ones mentioned for like the entire time I was in high school.  

There are a lot of generalizations going on and the rational part of my brain can separate things out but there’s part of my brain going “OMG EVERYONE KNEW YOU WERE FAT AS A TEENAGER AND JUST WASN’T TELLING YOU AND YOU REALLY COULDN’T TRUST THEM AFTER ALL.”

So, that feeling kind of sucks I guess.

"This is the bloating and constipation anon - thank-you so much, your post was really helpful! I am on the waiting list to see a gastro specialist but because our public health system is so slow, I won't be seen until next year :( I will try and keep going with recovery, and eating recovery amounts like you suggested. Thanks again!" With love, Anonymous.

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ll have to wait so long and I really hope you feel better soon! <3

"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.