Hello! I'm Josceline-Joy
I'm a bubbly, energetic, peanut-butter loving, coffee addicted adrenaline junkie.
When I'm not baking, playing sport or studying I find immense amount of joy helping others combat mental health illness, especially disordered eating, and build back self-esteem and self-love.
It may be cliché (sorry guys...) but seeing people go from brokenness to beauty is the best feeling ever.
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I recently graduated from The University of Surrey in July 2017 (Hooray!) with a 1st Class Honours in Psychology, and am a mental health campaigner, and avid fundraiser, associated with the UKs leading Eating Disorders Charity Beat.
If that's not enough to keep me busy, I have twice been a guest speaker on BBC2 popular news programme Victoria Derbyshire Show, and have an article published on the Neuropathology of Anorexia in the British Psychological Society (BPS) student Journal. more locally I have been involved in public speaking events at Schools, University.
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For the last five months I've been working as a Youth Counsellor for the worlds most popular cruise company. Spending my days Island hopping my way around the Caribbean and Bahamas.... pretty cool, I know!
I am now venturing back to University where i hope to study MSc in Health Psychology and maybe follow it up with a cheeky PhD #StudentLifeForever
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A large part of my time is filled with helping others recover from disordered eating, and educating people on the dangers of eating disorders, there development, and how to develop a healthy mind-set around food, body image and stress management (because eating disorders aren't about food really guys!!! Confusing stuff i know).
I started this site as a way to reach out and help those recovering from disordered eating, and has since developed to cover a wide range of health and wellbeing topics centred around thought challenging, behaviour change and self-development.
I use my background in Psychology to inform, educate and challenge change in thoughts and behaviours.
In doing so I draw on common principles found in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), intuitive eating, and motivational psychology.
I do not believe in a "one-size fits all" approach to promoting sustained behaviour change, and strongly believe that there are useful skills each method brings to promoting a healthier, more self-aware and proactive lifestyle. And that these can be applied to everyone at some level.
I later incorporated my fascination for sharing others stories of triumph over their own setbacks in order to encourage others to seek help, and find solace throughout their own struggles.
[You can read more about those here}.
Why listen to what I have to say...?
I am no one special. No celebrity with a huge following. But I do have a story to tell and message of hope to share with you all.
I know what it's like to struggle with low self-esteem, and to feel stuck in a cloud of negativity; endless feelings of uncertainties, anxiety, and to feel utterly helpless against it. And more so, to take these out on yourself.
I was extremely ill with anorexia nervosa for many years. This debilitating illness lost me (and my beloved family) 6+ years of my life to lengthy hospitalisations, Doctors appointments, endless meal plans, nights spent in tears, days spent in isolation.
I was told I wouldn't see my 18th birthday.
I dropped out of A Levels, my first University degree, and on one occasion even attempted to take my own life.
Dark stuff I know, but keep reading guys I swear the sun comes out!
A Brief Overview of My Story
Deciding to recover was just one tiny step on the long and winding road (yup the exact one the Beetles sang about...) but it taught me how to be tough, how to fight back, and never to take my health (or life) for granted.
I never understood properly where this illness sprung from. I was always the "foody one" in the group. I did a little bit of sport and dance, but food was never an issue.
Body image wise, meh, I was aware I was maybe curvier than the other girls from a young age. I remember my mum having to sew patches in a pair of jeans because my thighs rubbed away the material so much. And I definitely did not look like those girls with their toned legs and trim tummies.
But I had loads of friends, and bumbled my way through school bubbly and care free.
Through the recovery process I learnt a lot. That my illness was my way of cutting off all my emotions. All frustrations, stresses, past pains, and deep self-hatred were projected on my body.
Whilst daily I was mentally tortured by a thunder storm of negativity in my mind that perpetuated these behaviours.
I was no longer a daughter, or sister, or that bubbly blue-eyed best friend to so many.
Just a vacant.
A depressed and preoccupied, ghost of my former self.
Anorexia, and eating disorders in general, are complex. As clinical disorders they do not sit comfortably on their own distinct classification, but share many strings with anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) and depression, making them hugely complex disorders to treat.
I would cut up vegetables and weigh things so meticulously and any ritual that was broken would cause obscene amounts of anxiety and panic attacks. And my nutrient deprived brain was not getting the fuel to function, causing low mood, disrupted hunger signals, and even discontinuing the flow of blood to my vital organs.
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I experienced many different treatments on my recovery journey, and relapsed a lot. The majority of my recovery happened when I was not being under any professional care, but when I consciously made the decision to stop being victim to my own state, and actually start believing that I could be proactive and build back my body and mind, and ultimately take control of my life.
Unfortunately, this did not mean I woke up to my world being filled with rainbows and Unicorns, and eating became a walk in the park again. Motivation went through highs and lows, as did my anxiety.
Tears were shed.
Endless sleepless nights.
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An amazing therapist.
Beginning to build a future outside of my illness.
Enabled me to persist.
And now I am five years free. Five years healthier.
Five years more qualified in eating disorders than most clinicians you'll ever come across will be.
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From Surviving To Thriving
My journey from chronic illness to joy-filled recovery lead me to experience mental illness through new eyes. It's been a blessing in disguise and, strangely, I don't think I would trade back those years, because they have made me into the determined, ambitious women I am today and teaching me that nothing is beyond my reach.
I feel I have been given a valuable insight into the world of mental health, and that with experience I have an immense ability to help a lot of people who are suffering themselves rebuild their lives.
I long for no one else to experience the pain that having an eating disorder or mental health illness.
I am passionate about people finding a place where they have joy in their lives. Where they seek to optimise their health, sustain recovery, peace of mind, compassion, and increase self-worth.
Joy in my bones and beauty in my soul.
Recovery taught me how to be gentle on myself
How to reframe my thoughts
Question my behaviours; their purpose, relevance and value.
To build beauty in my spirit out of the brokenness in my bones.
To have self belief shine out of self-destructiveness.
To be so positive, optimistic and realistic.
Now well into my 20's (how did that happen...) I remain fascinated by our brain and behaviour. The powerful ways our external and internal environments interact to shape, break and remake our health. And I am dedicated to helping promote a healthy mind, body and soul.
I aim for you to become your own experts in rebuilding your bodies, reshaping your minds, and redefining your perceptions of health.