Counselling support for eating disorders and body image.
Rethink your body
To get the freedom to live the life you want
by Harriet Frew on August 16th, 2018

It began with finishing off the fish fingers on your toddler’s plate – ‘I don’t want to waste food’. But before you know it, you’ve gone on to demolish three custard creams and a couple of pieces of toast and jam. You are now guiltily rummaging through the children’s snack box searching for something else. You know that you’re not the least bit hungry (not anymore) but you can’t seem to stop.

No-one knows you’re eating – you feel incredibly guilty, ashamed and out of control. You don’t want the kids to know. Only five minutes ago, you were telling them ‘only 1 biscuit – that’s enough’. You’re so confused. Why has this happened? Most of the time, you have a pretty, run-of-the-mill healthy routine with food. You feel horribly out of control and a very bad Mum.
Before you write yourself off as a terrible mother, lacking self-control or willpower, pause, take a breath and stand back.

by Harriet Frew on July 22nd, 2018

​How do some people recover, whilst others remain stuck?
 
There is no simple answer.
 
BUT, there is something that helps significantly in determining positive outcomes.
 
It is something that can be easily lost, through the ups and downs of struggling with eating.
 
It helped me put my eating issues behind me for good.
 
What am I talking about?
 
Hope.
 
When working with a client recently, they had lost all hope. They felt despondent and discouraged. They had given up. They felt resigned to the eating disorder. They had given up the fight.
 
Consequently, the eating problem raged on. Symptoms were worse, as was sleep, mood and isolation.
 
I felt for them, sitting in the hole of despair. When you’re in the hole, it can feel as if there is no way out.
 
I have felt hopeless sometimes. I’m sure you have too.
 
But, if you can find your hope again, it could change your whole future.
 
In my own recovery, I held tightly to hope. I always believed that recovery was possible. I didn’t know how or when I was going to come through it, but I didn’t accept this as my lot. I wanted more than a life that may have become safe, but was also destroying me.
 
Why having hope will propel you forwards: -
 
You will believe there is a way out of this. This produces a powerful and proactive mindset. Instead, of feeling trapped, you will look for answers to solve problems and seek out solutions.
 
In my own journey, I used therapy. I talked to trusted friends who understood. I read articles and self-help books. I ready recovery stories. I watched videos.
 
No ‘one thing’ was the solution, but together, these provided a drip-drip of new and different perspectives. All were a little investment and contributing building block to change.
 
Hope helps you create a vision of a brighter and better life, even if you have no idea of how you might achieve this. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the specifics, but daring to dream helps you understand what is important to you and lifts you up in your energy and ideas.
 
Hope helps you set mini goals and think about the future.  The risk of change becomes worth it. You seek out other hopeful travellers and encourage each other along. You distance yourself from the downers and energy sappers. You seek to hold on to the hope you have ignited.
 
If you are not feeling hopeful right now, don’t ever give up.
 
Think about how you can begin to feel a teeny-weeny bit more hopeful. Where can you begin?
 
Feel empowered that you have some control over your feelings of hopefulness. However, despondent you feel, somewhere within you is a little pilot light of hope, waiting to be revitalized again.
 
Stay hopeful. It will get through recovery.

by Harriet Frew on July 17th, 2018


by Harriet Frew on July 11th, 2018

​It’s sunny! It’s hot! Body anxiety is riding high.

I’ve always wanted to wear denim shorts; the teeny-tiny shorts that show off long and shapely legs on other girls. They are not for me though. Mother-nature blessed me with thighs for striding up hills and jumping up walls. Not for looking sleek and gazelle-like in denim hotpants!

And after 3 kids, a bikini is off limits too. With my clothes on, you’d never know, thank goodness. But, my stomach has taken quite an elasticity battering since the offsprings’ arrival. Although I’ve never had or wanted a six-pack stomach, it is now a physical impossibility! The grief is real.

This isn’t a body bashing session. Actually, I like my body overall. There are bits that are pretty okay. My arms aren’t bad; there’s always my big, curly hair and with the right clothes, I have curves in the right places. I also hugely value my health and body strength. Long I hope, it will continue.

If you’ve having a bad body day, here are 3 tips to feel BODY BRAVE in the sun: -

1. Dress for your shape

Know what suits you and enhance your best bits. I can’t wear a bikini but I can choose a flattering swimsuit and sarong. Pencil skirts don’t enhance my shape, but A-line ones do. Don’t berate yourself with comparisons. Instead, celebrate the body you do have.


2. Wear colour

Choosing colours that suit you can take years off your face and lift your mood. Don’t get stuck with black or dark colours. Be bold, daring and experiment with different shades.


3. Make it fun!

What’s your thing? Do you wear jewellery or get your nails done? Do you celebrate your hair or wear make-up? Do you have a funky style that is unique? Find something that works for you and makes you feel good. Don’t get tied up in the size of your thighs or the things you feel you don’t have.

Be body brave! Get out there, and please do share any tips below about increasing body confidence. Thank you !


by Harriet Frew on July 10th, 2018



'Embrace the glorious mess that you are' - Elizabeth Gilbert - I love this quote.

You don't have to be perfect. I used to give myself such a hard time for the things I wasn't good at. 

I would feel hopelessly inadequate for my poor arithmetic skills or map reading ability. I would then beat myself up relentlessly for not being good enough, and compare myself to others, then feeling inferior.  What a waste of time that was! It was certainly NOT self-esteem building!

It stopped me focusing on the things I could do, like being creative, writing or being a good friend to others. It lowered my mood and always left me wanting.

Thankfully, I don't do half as much critiquing or judging myself anymore. Instead, I focus on my strengths - not in an arrogant way, but a gentle acknowledgement of things I do have to offer the world.

I am now okay with my weaknesses - other people can be good at maths (my children are already leaps and bounds ahead)!

And don't ever trust me with a map when you are navigating anywhere away from Cambridgeshire! You are guaranteed to become frustrated and very lost.

Even on a bad day, I still have big hair! It can be frizzy, but overall I feel it is very much part of me! :)

My 3 proven tips to raise self-esteem

1. STOP THE COMPARISONS RIGHT NOW -
  • That means ones with the girl at work who always looks so put together.
  • The ones of fit women on Instagram who are airbrushed within an inch of their lives.
  • The ones with your sister-in-law, who has a super-duper kitchen that she can swing a cat in (if she wanted to of course!)

2. NOTICE YOUR PERSONAL QUALITIES AND STRENGTHS

You might not feel you have any, but you absolutely do.!

You just haven't taken a step back and noticed them yet.

If you struggle with this one, try jotting down things through the day as situations arise. I bet you find yourself being a good friend, a thoughtful colleague or showing kindness to the checkout man more than you ever realise.

3. TREAT YOURSELF WITH RESPECT, KINDNESS AND WARMTH

I am sure you treat your pet, your children, your friends or partner with thoughtfulness and care. Do you do the same for yourself though? If you neglect your own needs, you will feel resentful and worthless.

You are probably super busy and fitting in self-care might feel a squeeze. Prioritise it in though. I love having a sit down with a cup of coffee; reading a favourite book or relaxing in the bath. It lifts my mood and restores my energy. And, I feel so much better in my mood and self-worth!  I am also nicer to be around.

What are your self-esteem boosting tips? Do share below.







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Counselling support for eating disorders and body image.