A Hunger Artist

This Hunger Artist has nothing to do with the artistry of not-eating—after all, there is no such thing. It’s concerned with the complex art and science involved in learning to listen, and respond, to your many hungers again, when an eating disorder has made you forget how.

This site collects together all the strands of my work on disordered eating and its much lovelier opposites:

  • the coaching I offer to help clients through the strange journey from illness to full recovery
  • the Psychology Today blog I’ve been running since 2009, drawing together the science and the personal experience of eating disorders
  • the Hunger Artist blog I set up more recently on this site to explore the wider territories of mind, body, and lifestyle that interest me
  • and my eating disorder-related academic research, which currently has two main emphases: 1) mapping out the links between narrative reading and disordered eating and 2) developing behaviour-centric (as opposed to psychology-centric) models of “mental” illness inspired by the theory of feedback systems.

If you’re curious about the name (which, to be honest, I have frequent doubts about), here’s the backstory.

Emily Troscianko

All of this shaped by me, flesh-and-blood Emily:

  • by my academic training (French and German, followed by more German, getting increasingly cognitive-scientific and then a bit mental-healthy and then distinctly less German)
  • by the ten long dark years of my anorexia that finally ended in 2008 (the great natural miracle of my life that I will never stop being grateful for)
  • by all the things recovery made possible in my life and career since (especially blogging, coaching, LA, powerlifting, and being really shit at golf)
  • by my loves (e.g. black pudding, language that creates change) and my hates (e.g. the British climate, recovery coaches who aren’t recovered)
  • by everyone who’s been an influence on me (from mummy and daddy and stepfather through Franz Kafka to Patrick Cane and every single person I’ve ever given advice—whether or not they asked for it).

Find out more

If you want to know more about me, you can visit my personal site, www.troscianko.com. It’s home to various other topics that intersect with mental and physical health, including consciousness, lifting, failure, and hikes in beautiful places.

If you’d like a quick taster of my take on eating disorders, here’s a short video I made in response to the following brief:

  • What is living with anorexia really like?
  • What do you want other people living with anorexia to know?
  • What do you want their loved ones to know?

Or for something (quite a bit!) longer, here’s an interview with me on Chris Sandel’s excellent Real Health Radio, covering all kinds of recovery topics from the dangers of “maintenance” diets to the therapeutic joys of meat-eating and sex. Chris also published a blog post on “Eating disorder recovery weight gain”, drawing on our conversation and highlighting the serious problems created by the widespread lack of encouragement (or active discouragement) to let as much weight gain happen in recovery as is really needed.

Stay in touch

If you want to stay updated with news, thoughts, and tools from me, you can subscribe to my newsletter via the link at the bottom of the page.

Meanwhile on my Facebook page, I share my latest blog posts as well as other news, and repost from my blog archives with new observations on things I wrote sometimes over a decade ago. This may offer you a nice path through the range of content that encompasses the story of how I came to the decision to finally get properly better and what the entire process of achieving that involved; explorations of the physical, cognitive, and social realities of both anorexia and recovery from it; and forays into questions about food and bodies more generally, from the idiocies of “clean eating” to the importance of leaving your phone in your bag a lot more often.

I don’t do much else with social media, though I do have a now rather rusty channel devoted to my powerlifting (well, OK, mainly to my squat training), including a few competition lifts. If you’re interested, it’s here.

Back in my competitive lifting days, I also took part in Oxford University Powerlifting Club’s rather cool video Lift Like a Girl. (Strange to think how strange women lifting felt back in the wilds of 2015.)

I hope you enjoy exploring, and please get in touch if you have any comments or questions.