I wrote a book, a Young Adult novel for teens called “Hungry Hearts.” The main character has anorexia, but she is not defined by her eating disorder; she is a whole person. It’s an own voices coming of age Contemporary Romance novel about a young girl struggling as a teen as she silently battles anorexia, bullying, loneliness, and life as a teen. It’s a romance, so I will say it’s HEA (Happily Ever After). I wrote a letter to the readers of “Hungry Hearts” because I wanted to address some things. Here is that letter.
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To the Readers of Hungry Hearts:
I lived Landra’s story myself, alone in my room, all by myself in my own head, walking the world in a state of self-forced hunger, searching for perfection that not only did not exist but didn’t matter. I wrote this book not to condone what I did but to expose a very personal dark secret to the light in the hopes that it may help other young girls who are struggling as I did.
Yes, this novel is a work of fiction, but in many ways, Landra’s thoughts and actions reflect my own deep struggles with anorexia as a young teen. Like Landra, I hid my anorexia. Some people were suspicious of how little I seemed to eat and would ask me questions, but I was very good at hiding it. I did the whole excessive exercising alone in my room, the not eating, the skipping meals, the worrying I was overweight when in actuality I was a size one.
I literally saw a bigger person in the mirror when I looked, like a mirage. The spread of my thighs as I sat bothered me. The flesh on my hips as I was growing the telltale curves of a woman bothered me. They weren’t supposed to be there. With time, I learned those curves of the human female body are beyond beautiful; they are a healthy gift of maturation, a step into the amazing world of being a woman.
I wrote this story for those who are hiding their anorexia as I did. I made it out of that storm alive, but it could have easily gone the other way. I am not proud that I made it out alone, but I’m happy I did without severely damaging my body. I’m very lucky I didn’t permanently harm myself or my organs.
Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder. Should I have gotten help? Yes. Without a doubt, I should have gotten help, but I didn’t realize this until I grew older. Hindsight is even less blind when the storm is over. I did survive without assistance, without intervention, but I would not recommend this path for anyone because it’s dangerous and too risky. If you have some of these thoughts or do some of the same things Landra did in this story, please talk to someone.
I’m not a psychiatrist, but I have worked as a pediatric nurse so I know about this condition from a medical sense too, and with anything, I believe there are levels of severity and all shades of anorexia should be addressed with a professional. The bottom line is it doesn’t hurt to talk to someone. Find out if what you are feeling is something to be concerned about. Please don’t do what I did. Don’t do what Landra did, be smart and get yourself some help.
All my best to you with warm squishy hugs,
Julie, Author of “Hungry Hearts” Published 1/21/2020 by Month9Books
and Swoon Romance.
P.S. It’s okay to do the wrong thing, just forgive yourself and move on to try to find the right thing.
Out in Audiobook as well:
Paperback in preorder status:
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Watch for my next novel coming out with Swoon Romance called “Out of Control” due to be released October of 2020.
Listen to my author interview podcast with Dallas Woodburn: Interview Podcast
Want to read more about my battle with anorexia and what prompted me to write “Hungry Hearts”? Read: How Do You Become Anorexia? The Story Behind the Hungry Hearts Novel by Julie Hoag.
The paperback of HUNGRY HEARTS releases on March 10th, 2020. Enter the contest for a chance to win a signed copy of the novel. Void where prohibited, contest entrants only open to people who live in North America and Europe. Contest ends March 10th, 2020. The book will be mailed to the winner in March 2020. Congratulations to the winner! I will be coming in the mail soon.
Copyright © 2020 Julie Hoag writer in conjunction with Month9Books and Swoon Romance. All Rights Reserved.
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