Louise’s Bulimia Recovery Story

This is Louise’s story. Perhaps there are parts that you can relate to. Perhaps there are parts that you can’t. Everyone’s story is different.

“Before my initial session with Rachel I was in an incredibly fragile emotional state and my health was not good. From an emotional point of view I was suffering with severe anxiety, having regular panic attacks and on the verge of tears or crying pretty much every day. I was having difficulty sleeping, had low self esteem and depression. I was struggling to cope with everyday life and desperately needed help and support.

I had been suffering from bulimia for 15 years

From a health point of view I had been suffering from bulimia for over 15 years, which had caused lots of health issues including hair loss, digestion problems and low potassium which meant I was hospitalised on a number of occasions. I had just managed to stop purging (in an attempt to ease my anxiety) but convinced myself that food was the enemy and need to severely restrict calories to ensure that I didn’t gain weight. I was obsessed with thinking about food as I was really restricting calories and times of day I would eat. The thought of eating food was terrifying and I was weighing myself multiple times a day to ‘keep track’ of my weight.

Before seeking help from Rachel I had been speaking to a counsellor about my anxiety and trying to use coping tactics but as the anxiety was so linked to the bulimia it wasn’t really helping the problem. 

Since working with Rachel, my whole thought process about eating and myself have totally changed. I genuinely believed when I started working with Rachel that I couldn’t eat like ‘normal people’ without putting on weight and that I would have to restrict or purge for the rest of my life to maintain a healthy weight. 

But now I understand what it is to eat a normal balanced healthy diet. To have foods I enjoy, when I want them and that my body will support me to digest the food that I eat and take the nutrients it needs to keep me strong and healthy. I’ve learnt to listen to my body’s hunger and fullness signals and to listen to the way different foods make my body feel. I’m so much happier now, my thoughts aren’t constantly consumed with food, I have so much more time as I’m not binging and purging so I can spend that time doing the things I love and that make me happy like spending time with my family. I finally feel confident in my body and am thankful that it supports me.

I honestly feel like a different person to the one who started working with Rachel. I was lost and confused but Rachel’s support, direction and perspective have allowed me to see and understand the damage I was doing to my physical and mental health and helped me to move forward with my life.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to push away the negative thoughts and find positive coping strategies for difficult moments. By learning to stop listening to the negative thoughts, it allows the positive ones to flood in. Although it takes practice and persistence to keep focusing on the positive, the more I practiced, the more I believed and the better I felt. It has been a process and a journey but one that has been a lot easier than I expected. 

Working with someone who has experienced the thoughts and feelings of suffering with an eating disorder really allowed me to believe that recovery was possible. In conversations with other counsellors who tell you they ‘understand how you feel’ when they have never experienced the crippling fear and irrational thoughts associated with an eating disorder can’t understand what it’s like to live in a mind and body where you feel trapped with no end in sight. Rachel really listened to me as an individual without judgement, even when I felt I was sharing things that were stupid she never made me feel that way. She helped me to see things from another perspective and to try different strategies to tackle situations and to give me another way of seeing things that my eating disorder made me blind to. 

If you are thinking of signing up for the Nourish Programme then I would say JUST DO IT…if you’re struggling with an eating disorder it will be the best thing you’ve ever done. If you want to make a change but don’t know where to start, this is the perfect way to start opening up to the problems you need support with and to start tackling things differently. Booking a session with Rachel is the first step in your recovery journey and although it may be challenging at first, it won’t be as difficult as you think and it won’t be anywhere near as tough as living with your negative eating disorder thoughts.

Recovery is possible and the happiness you with feel from changing your life is only an email away. Be open, lay your heart on the line and Rachel will give you the support and confidence you need to leave your disordered eating in the past.

Learn more about the 6 month Nourish Programme of bespoke one-to-one support.

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Dr Rachel Evans

Eating Disorder Recovery Therapist