Recovery 1 of 5: Catherine This is not a happy photograph, this was not a happy time…







Knowledge is a light that leads to wisdom. It is life for one’s soul and fuel for one’s character…Happiness and high spiritedness come with enlightenment, because through knowledge, one may fulfill his goals and discover what was previously hidden from him…

If you desire happiness, then seek out knowledge and enlightenment, and you will find that anxiety, depression, and grief will leave you.

—Shaykh ‘Aidh al-Qarni


“Once you realize the reason behind your fears, it’s easier to push past them because you can take proactive steps to face them directly.”


Saira Blair

Dear Readers,


Please find below a fantastic new recovery E-mail program by Bulimia Help Coach, Catherine Liberty. I’ve always found her programs to be very inspiring and helpful. This Recovery program gives us shocking insight into Catherine’s own struggles with the Demon of Eating Disorder.



Recovery 1 of 5: Catherine This is not a happy photograph, this was not a happy time…


We have some really amazing recovery coaches working for us at HealED and I thought it would be a great to share some of their insights into recovery.

I would like to introduce you to Catherine Liberty who has been working as a Recovery Coach with us 6 years now.

So lets get started today with the first email in the series. Over to you Catherine…



Over the next two weeks I am going to be sending out a series of emails offering some of the very best insights, tips and advice for your recovery.

So if you’re in need of a little extra motivation, inspiration or guidance for your recovery then you won’t want to miss them!

A little later this year I will be celebrating 8 years of full recovery from bulimia thanks to the HealED program.

Even after all this time it still feels incredible to say that outloud because not so long ago at all, I was just like you. I was trapped, I was alone and I was utterly convinced that I would never recover from bulimia.

Although I only suffered from bulimia for a little over ten years (I say “only” because many of the people who I coach have been sick for at least double this amount of time) my problem with food and my inability to accept my body had been an ongoing, lifelong battle.

As I sit here writing to you there’s a photograph from my 5th birthday party sitting on my desk. My friends and loved ones often comment on how “cute” I look “trying to pout.” They smile and walk by not knowing just how wrong they are in this assumption.

This is not a happy photograph, this was not a happy time…

I was 5 years old and this should have been one of the happiest, most carefree times of my life.

But it wasn’t.

I was not pouting or trying to look cute.

I was biting down on the insides of my cheeks in a desperate attempt to make my face look thinner (a practice I continued for many years, often causing mouth ulcers and unnecessary pain).

Can we just stop and process that for a second?

I was 5 years old. 

Catherine at 5

I went on my first extreme diet 1 year later and I continued with the vicious cycle of binge eating and extreme restriction until age 14, when my disordered eating progressed into bulimia (I’ll share more of my recovery story in my next email to you).

I had been sick for my entire life but ultimately it did not stop me from recovering. If you’ve been sick for a very long time too you may feel that all hope has been lost but I am telling you right now that you CAN recover, even if you NEVER remember a time when you were NORMAL around food or HAPPY with your body.

I keep this photograph on my desk for motivation, to remind myself of how far I have come and to inspire others to know that it is possible to transform your life.

I keep this photograph on my desk so that when I’m faced with the prospect of working with someone who has suffered with bulimia for decades, someone who can not remember life without their eating disorder (Like Pat Mary who I coached to full recovery after 43 years of bulimia!) I can tell them, with 100% honesty and faith, that it does not matter.

It does NOT matter how long you have been sick.
It does NOT matter if you can’t remember life before your eating disorder. 

If you are willing to commit to recovery and if you are ready to change your life then recovery is ALWAYS possible. So please don’t allow your eating disorder to convince that it’s too late.

Most people don’t experience challenges like this.

When you are living with an ED it requires a deep inner strength just to make it through each day.

You are not weak because you suffer with food issues. You are so much braver and courageous than the average person who has never had to face such challenges.

I understand if you cannot feel that strength and bravery now. I’ve been there myself, so many times during my own battles, I felt weak and vulnerable. So much so that I was completely unable to acknowledge my own true strength.

But trust me, it is there. It is the deeper part of you. It is the part of you that encouraged you to read this email.

It is the part of you encourages you to strives for a better life.

It is who you are at your core.

You are stronger that you know.

I’ll be celebrating my 32nd Birthday this month and I will definitely be smiling (and eating cake) on that day!


Talk Soon

Catherine 🙂
Catherine Liberty BSc (Hons), PgCert, MBPSs.
Trainee Health Psychologist
HealED Recovery Coach
Work with me 1-1 to recover from bulimia


catherine liberty


About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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  1. Pingback: Recovery 2 of 5: Catherine's Recovery Story Audio - Islam and Eating Disorders

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