TESTIMONIALS

FOOD AND BODY IMAGE FREEDOM

I'm 4 weeks into working with Laura and she's already changed my life so much and seeing your post just now really related to me and what I needed to hear. Some days I allow the Eating Disorder to win becuase it;s just so loud and cruel and I'm exhausted but little posts like this can trigger some more strength so thank you as always for being real and being you.

When my depression was super low in March it was hard to imagine times I’d feel happy again, but I’m starting to see little glimmers the more we move forward! I got up an hour earlier this morning so I could wash and dry my hair and do a 15 minutes of yoga so I had time for myself this morning and Laura…I’ve had such a lovely day full of walk and games etc! 

You might remember me saying how my colleagues thought I was a different person since our sessions and that my work was on a new level (hello brain space not being taken up by my Eating Disorder thoughts!). Well today I was promoted!! I’m so over the moon, none of this would have been possible without you and our work together so thank you for having me and for everything you have done for me. 

Aw, Laura - it makes me emotional just thinking about this. I was so lost and full of hatred towards my newly weight - restored body. The Happy Body Gang changed everything for me, and I'm so grateful for you, and the wonderful ladies in the group.

I’m 4 weeks into working with Laura and she’s already changed my life so much and seeing your post just now really related to me and what I needed to hear. Some days I allow the Eating Disorder to win becuase it;s just so loud and cruel and I’m exhausted but little posts like this can trigger some more strength so thank you as always for being real and being you.

I’m now post pregnancy, not panicking about how I need to lose the weight or anything – my body has just done this amazing thing creating two mini humans! It’s allowed to be what it is considering I have bought life into the world. 

From the very beginning, I felt like Laura was really, truly listening - not just to what I was saying, but to my actions, my expressions and even what I wasn't saying. She heard me struggling, and she validated it every time, but always took my worries deeper to get to the very bottom of what was going on. In the past, therapy as part of recovery had simply been a weekly check in to offload as I was getting back to a healthy weight, but with Laura the focus was on me, not my eating disorder, and how I could get ME back. She encouraged me to separate myself from the eating disorder and to constantly work towards the life I wanted, rather than just helping me struggle through some weight gain - realising that there was SO much more to recovery than just putting the weight on. She truly wants to know you as a person, understand what you want, and guide you to it.

I went into lockdown hating life, hating myself and with no relationship with my siblings or parents.  I came out of lockdown with my family back, feeling stronger and happier than we have ever been.  I cannot express enough the transformation in this relationship, and I will be forever grateful for this.  I have a life and a future now that doesn’t revolve around food – I have never felt so free!

Where to begin! I have a whole journal full of tools & exercises and I will continue using these not just in my continued recovery, but in other areas of life.  The most poignant for me was a homework exercise to write letters to myself for 5 years time, one as if nothing had changed, and the other as if everything had – this was very emotional and something I could keep going back to to remind myself when things were tough why I was doing this. I particularly liked Laura’s tools to re-think and re-phrase unhelpful thoughts with the Thought Record Sheet.  This is something I have become very good at running through my brain when out and about. Identity work was also so helpful, as I hadn’t realised just how much I was defining myself and boxing myself away with the eating disorder.  

I had been questioning whether my eating disorder was valid and if I was sick enough to get help. I came across Laura purely by chance on an episode of Alex Light's Podcast the episode as Laura was a guest. Listening to that episode convinced me to seek professional help and who better than the woman who helped me see I deserved to get better in the first place. I like to think it was fate having that episode randomly pop up on my Spotify feel that day, I would never have started my recovery journey if it didn't. Laura provides a 360approach and not only looked at my relationship with food, but my self - esteem, body confidence, diet-culture, past trauma and grief, stress and mental health etc. In the past my support has always been about getting back to a 'healthy' number on the BMI scale and then the support ended. Laura made me realise that the reason I spent over a decade relapsing is because I wasn't focusing on the entire picture and I hadn't been engaging in any soul-led recovery work.
Self Confidence

I’ve got my life back! That may seem dramatic but I have struggled with my eating disorder for well over half of my life and I had accepted that as my normal; I couldn’t even imagine my life to be any different.  Laura showed me a glimpse of how my life could be and in the short time we worked together she showed me that it wasn’t a fantasy and that I could actually get there.  There were times I was so afraid of taking the leap of faith towards recovery but knowing Laura was behind me every step of the way made me feel really supported and was exactly what I needed.  I’m nowhere near the end of my recovery journey but I’ve learnt so many different tools to help me deal with the hardships of everyday life and I know that I don’t need my eating disorder anymore to help me.  I’m genuinely a better daughter, sister, friend and girl friend without my eating disorder and I now actually like and respect myself! I couldn’t thank Laura enough for giving me that!

Laura made me feel at ease almost immediately, which is a mean feat because I’m usually quite a guarded, closed off person.  Knowing that Laura has survived similar experiences to me made me able to trust her as well as motivate me in thinking ‘if she can recover, then so can I’ which has been invaluable to me.  Laura is one of the most kind-hearted, genuine people I’ve ever met and this is really translated in our sessions.  Having said that, Laura wasn’t afraid to be tough when she needed to. Eating disorders are manipulative and she saw straight through this and really challenged me and gave me that kick that I often really needed.  I loved the fact that Laura gave me LOTS of homework. When I first started seeing Laura I was still very much in the depths of my eating disorder so I needed to do the work every single day and she ensured that happened to me! I found visualisations particularly helpful; imagining a future without my eating disorder was invaluable to me and is what I find myself thinking about most when my Eating Disorder voice is at it’s loudest.  Laura also provided me with mantras to say to myself, ways to stop my Eating Disorder behaviours (as well as helping me see why I should give them up and why they don’t serve me), ways to deal with my high risk situations and triggers, as well as how to begin to achieve body acceptance.  The work we did on self-identity and grief were a godsend and something I never even know I needed to do in order to recover.  Every single session I left having learnt a new coping mechanism or a new way of thinking and I honestly couldn’t thank Laura enough for that.  

I definitely feel like I'm making a breakthrough with food and leaving behind the rules I've created and lived by for so long. I went out for lunch yesterday and for the first time ever I hadn't looked at the menu and planned the safest meal before I got there. Thank you so much for helping me find some freedom around food.

I was back from uni in the family home when lockdown hit due to Coronavirus, and I was at a very low point in terms of my relationship with food and my body. This was raking a serious toll on the entire family, tensions were high and everyone was unhappy. This was yet another of many relapses after being at university out of the watchful eye of my parents, and we were all at our wits end.  I agreed with my Mum that I needed to find some support to get out of the rut I was in, and she did some googling and found Laura as an eating disorder specialist.  I immediately recognised her from instagram and was very keen to reach out as I had always admired her from a distance thinking she offered something I could never achieve.  

I definitely feel like I’m making a breakthrough with food and leaving behind the rules I’ve created and lived by for so long.  I went out for lunch yesterday and for the first time ever I hadn’t looked at the menu and planned the safest meal before I got there. Thank you so much for helping me find some freedom around food.  

Laura is one of the most kind, caring, empathetic people I have ever met! I have never felt so understood in my struggles as I have talking to her. I therefore never felt afraid of telling her what I had found difficult, nor did I ever feel I had to lie - something that I had often done in the past with previous therapists. Her passion for a life free from these issues is so tangible and infections that every session I came away feeling empowered and ready to face the challenges for the week.

Phelan Well is about achieving a healthy mind and body which together makes for a healthier you. Restore a healthy relationship with food & body image.

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