Before I came to Rachel I had been with 3 or 4 therapists before. I knew that I had never really gelled with any of them and the techniques we had tried, including CBT and medication, had been too impersonal for me, and if I’m honest I was losing faith.
I had already spent about 9 months living at home with my parents during the first lockdown and managed to get rid of most of my very strict food rules because my Mother refused to allow me to eat differently to her 3 other grown up children who had come home also. But inevitably I had put on weight. I HATED it, every time I looked at myself in the mirror I felt sick as I did not see that thin person I was when I was not eating and over exercising. I was moody and caught in an endless cycle of purging and binging secretly behind my family’s backs. This made me feel incredibly guilty. Whenever I was questioned over it I was defensive, cruel and burst into tears, which is not the real me!
My eating disorder history spanned back 5 years previously when I discovered a love for the gym and after I moved out at 18, I started a diet. For four years I was stuck in a battle of restricting my food and over exercising. I thought this was normal; feeling tired, ill, needing sleep for 10 hours a day, living off caffeine and protein powder. It was only when I binged for the first time, my body remembered how good food tasted, but the shame and guilt ruled my life. I was still underweight, but this is when I started hating my body.
Cut forward to January 2021 when I had my first session with Rachel. I knew from the offset that this would be different, not only did I feel that Rachel knew exactly what I was going through, but she approached everything with empathy and non-judgement. I started the Nourish intensive programme.
Initially I felt lost; I had always thought it was the fact I was weak-willed and broken as to why I was susceptible to an eating disorder, but what I learnt from Rachel is another way of looking at it. And that it was not my fault at all!
One fabulous thing about Rachel is she will listen to you, if something is not working, she will always have something up her sleeve to try, as she herself never stops learning new ways to help you! Rachel also challenged me, called me out on my BS and made me look at aspects of myself that made me incredibly uncomfortable. But what I learnt was that I needed to step out of my comfort zone for me to get better. I have learnt a series of ‘tools’ for my ‘toolbox’ to take with me into later life. My toolbox includes coping mechanisms to save me from situations that may have caused me to relapse. It is not easy, and I am not perfect, but I now have the toolset to work on myself everyday.
My biggest ‘ah-ha’ moment was my first hypnotherapy session. We went back to my past and traumatising moments and I was able forgive myself now for what I put my younger self through. I never knew so many answers lived in the past.
The best thing I have learnt from Rachel, and in fact anyone, is what normal eating means to me. That has freed me from so many restraints and rules I let run my life. I have fallen in love with food again without guilt, which for a girl who loves her food – is a revelation.
For anyone who is thinking of signing up, and any part of my story relates, please, for your own sake invest in your health and get in touch with Rachel! She will support you, challenge you, guide you through to a much healthier you. I used to think I would rather not be on the earth anymore than gain weight and eat ‘normally’, but now I have the freedom to live my life to the fullest.
I will never be able to thank Rachel enough.