Lauren O’Connell is a PhD student in sociology at the University of Essex. Lauren has previously had a diagnosis of ‘anorexia’ for which she underwent intensive inpatient treatment on numerous occasions over the course of around four years. Lauren is critically exploring her own experiences (as well as the experiences of others) as part of her doctoral research. This research seeks to understand the impact that a diagnosis of anorexia has on people’s experiences of eating and weight related distress, and their identity. Lauren is also a part-time lecturer in social work at Essex, a role in which she draws on her personal, lived experience of services as well as her academic training.