Laura Phelan - The Beauty Of Recovery
The beauty of recovery
I hate myself.
How am I ever going to be okay with what I see in the mirror. I can’t see a way out of this.
13 years ago, these were the thoughts that circled my mind daily. I was crippled by my eating disorder, obsessed about every crumb that I ate and more terrified about gaining weight than anything else in the world. Having an eating disorder is quite literally like being possessed, the “worst best friend” is what I called it because even though I knew it was destroying me, it was something I didn’t believe I could ever live without.
Luckily my story didn’t end that way, 13 years later and I can truly say I am a healthy, happy individual and the days where food and body controlled my every waking thought are far behind me. I am here today to share my story and to inspire you to know that the beauty of recovery is very real, the journey may be the hardest thing you ever have to do but its also going to be the best thing you ever do.
I love the quote “ allow yourself to transform as many times as you need to be fully happy and free” by Yung Peblo.
This is my message to anyone in recovery and to the clients I work with on the daily to remind them that they can’t give up the fight, and that the more they push through the closer they can get to full recovery.
So what are the main things that improved in my life since I recovered:
• STRENGTH- There are always moments in life that will test me to the core, life doesn’t suddenly get really easy when you recover, but with your new found strength you realise you are so capable of dealing with life hurdles and you don’t need to use food as a crutch to get through the hard times.
• SELF WORTH- after years of basing my entire worth on how small I could make my body and how little I could eat, it was truly liberating to realise I was worth so much more than a body, who I was as a person was the most important thing about me.
• BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD-It may be stating the obvious, but NO ONE can have a good relationship with food and maintain an eating disorder at the same time. Recovery meant I was able to eat without guilt, without obsessing over every meal and spontaneous meals out were fun again!
• BETTER BODY IMAGE-In our cultural climate, our body image is so intrinsically linked with our self value, and that’s a really hard pill to swallow because it does mean we have to do a LOT of unlearning to feel better in our bodies. Coming through recovery does mean you will learn how to appreciate and respect your body more, it means you will be able to find ways to deal with the negative thoughts towards it and that your weight does not define your worth.
• PURPOSE-One of the most exciting parts of recovery is realising your passions and purpose again. When you free up all that space in your mind, you will start to really focus on what matters to you again, you will start thinking about your dream career and get the fire in your belly again for all the things you want to do and experience in life-the world really is your oyster!
• IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS-Having an eating disorder can often feel like being in a toxic and isolating relationship, meaning that during this time you may have lost a lot of friends and that time with loved ones was always stilted. Once you begin to fully recover and let go, your relationships with start to flourish and bloom again and you will realise how many incredible people you are yet to meet!
• SEX DRIVE RETURNS-I honestly think at one point I felt asexual, I had next to no attraction or feelings of desire for anyone and the thought of intimacy or a relationship were the last things on my mind. Its amazing how in time after recovery you begin to reconnect with yourself and your body again and those desires return better than ever!
• FREEDOM- Ultimately, recovery is going to set you free. Its going to set you free from rules, from the need to control everything, its going to allow you to be flexible again, make last minute plans, book the holiday or trip you have put off forever and really feel as if you can live your life again!
Laura Phelan aka @phelanwelll is an international speaker with a Harley St clinic and body image expert. Laura believes everyBODY deserves a space to heal their relationship with food and exercise. This workshop is going to help you dismantle diet culture, feel better about the skin you are in, have a better relationship with food, exercise and your own body through practical tools and advice.