Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
RETHINK YOUR BODY
Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image
My Story
by Harriet Frew on May 31st, 2019

Hello, I’m Harriet.

I am passionate about helping you STOP disordered eating and body self-loathing, so finding peace with food.

From birth, we are exposed to endless brainwashing messages that idealise thinness and drive diet culture. However, not everyone, absorbs these messages to the same degree.  Why?

Because our relationship with food develops also in relation to early life experiences, how we deal with feelings and our roles in significant relationships.

So, it’s not just about food, but feelings too.

Today, I eat everything (yes that means cakes and pizza and white bread too).  No foods are forbidden.

It hasn’t always been this way though.

As a child, I was naturally slim but felt awkward and unattractive.  I felt I had frizzy hair and frumpy clothes. I had good friends but didn’t feel popular or part of the cool gang. I compared myself endlessly. It shouldn’t have mattered but low self-esteem meant that fitting in, was more important than authenticity.

In my relationships, I learned early that pleasing others was the way to win approval and avoid conflict. There wasn’t space to talk about feelings, as other voices were louder and dominant and struggling too.

Trying to please the world is a disastrous and totally unsustainable way to live.  It led to a lot of frustration and upset on my part (and for others). And when my first relationship broke down at the age of 17 years, I was vulnerable and fragile to this rejection. I hadn’t ever thought about weight or size until that point, but somewhere deep inside, I had internalised lose weight = good thing.

It started with a restrictive diet and losing 2 stone. I was hungry, cold, exhausted, isolated and antisocial. Not surprisingly, starvation was unsustainable, and this quickly escalated into binge eating and purging, interspersed with further periods of restrictive eating (trying to get back on the wagon). It was a horrible, shameful, destructive cycle. I hid it well behind my placating front.

For seven years, I was caught in this shameful loop, although the earliest hell became more diluted as I weight restored meaning that the preoccupation with food lessened.

Recovery from disordered eating is of course not just about eating enough or stopping symptoms, this is one step along the recovery journey.

That’s because disordered eating and controlling weight becomes a way of coping with life (not in a conscious, logical way), but rather something we can find ourselves doing.

Short-term, controlling weight and striving for thin ideals can bring fleeting boosts to self-esteem. It helps us avoid painful emotions. It can provide a focus and purpose, when other areas of life feel unsafe and uncontrollable.  Food can offer comfort and security when nothing else feels as secure.

So real recovery is about learning new and effective ways of coping. It is about learning to manage feelings; cope with negative thoughts, improve body image and confidence. It is about developing a healthier relationship with food too. Ultimately, it is about learning to find your voice – no longer ruled by external demands or the ed voice.

If you would like to work with me, I am offering breakthrough days in Cambridge and London.



Posted in Programmes, Recovery, Therapy, My Story    Tagged with harriet frew, my story, recovery, bulimia recovery, eating disorder recovery, counselling, therapy, help for disordered eating


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Inspiring you to find peace with food and your body image