Restored is a charity, which seeks to support, empower and restore lives to overcome the effects of eating disorders. We work alongside people with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder as well as undiagnosed conditions where issues surrounding food get out of control. With a team made up of professionals and volunteers experienced in eating disorders, whether first hand or through caring for others, we provide a unique, stepped level of care. Our service is tailored to the individual needs of those who come to us, offering a holistic approach to aid all aspects of recovery. At Restored, we believe that full recovery is not only possible, but also achievable. We have recovered people on our team, who inspire hope for recovery and are living proof that an eating disorder does not have to be a life sentence. The team has had the privilege of seeing lives restored and transformed over the past 6 years, since gaining charity status.
'It's not about food'
We understand that the real problem is not one of food, but of feelings. We have an 8-week mentoring programme to prepare individuals for change, followed by optional counselling/psychotherapy, health & lifestyle coaching, meal and shopping support. Alongside this, we run free weekly group therapy sessions. Our programme is tailor made for each service-user according to his/her individual needs.
We offer 1:1 counselling for those caring for someone with an eating disorder (family/friends), as well as a Carer’s Group, which meets every week. Carer’s Group provides a safe space for you to meet people who understand the nature of eating disorders, share hopes and fears in confidence and make new friends over a cup of tea or coffee. We also have books and resources to help support you in your role as a carer.
Restored also offers bespoke training sessions for professionals who work alongside people with eating disorders.
Restored provide specialist eating disorders services in schools and colleges. Our school service includes assemblies, PSHE lessons, parent talks, 1:1 mentoring, counselling/psychotherapy and meal support as well as staff training sessions.
I suffered with eating disorders for ten years. I lived this period of my life as though tied up in chains, bound by a strict set of self-imposed rules regarding food, weight and exercise. Life was exhausting. I was constantly pre-occupied with what I had eaten and wasted hours planning how I could cut down on my next meal. I exercised excessively, trying to burn off more calories than I consumed and I weighed myself several times a day. My self-esteem was low and I struggled to maintain relationships. My eating disorder functioned as a way to block out difficult emotions. At times of stress and when hurt it was easier to think about food than it was to deal with my feelings. I used my eating disorder to shut out pain and make myself numb to the world around me. This left me feeling isolated, lonely and uncertain about my future. My weight was dangerously low, my periods stopped completely, and a bone density scan showed I had thinning bones. I was in desperate need of help. These physical effects on my body were a massive wake-up call and kick started me to seriously think about weight restoration. I dreamed of having children one day and getting my periods back was a strong motivator for me to get better.
Embarking on the journey of recovery felt very daunting at first. My eating disorder had been a part of my existence for so long, initially it was hard to imagine my life without it. But recovery was a gradual process and with time, therapy and support, I got to the place where I am today, free from the chains of my eating disorder.
Nowadays my life is a stark contrast. It is full of light and hope for the future. My relationships are far more open and I have freedom to pursue life’s opportunities as they arise. I lead a healthy lifestyle and my relationship with food and exercise is positive. Of course life still has its challenges, and like anyone, I experience stress and other negative emotions at times. The difference now is that I no longer use an eating disorder to cope. I can deal with whatever life throws at me in a healthy way.
My experience of recovery is that you simply can’t do it alone. Reaching out to friends and family is so important. It is also invaluable to have access to a support organisation which is removed from the everyday stresses of work and family life. The team at Restored have a wealth of professional and personal experience of eating disorders and a real passion to reach out to people who are suffering. Some of the team also have previously lived with and recovered from eating disorders and can really understand what you are going through. Recovery can at times feel like a long and exhausting process. And to have someone walk alongside you during those times will keep you going, one step at a time.