The Only Way is Up Foundation was borne out of its directors’ experiences with eating disorders and having dealt with struggles that come with recovery. The Foundation aims to give sufferers a way to see a life beyond anorexia and how to rediscover passions and interests, or perhaps find new ones.
We are a brand new foundation, set up to help people who have recovered or are recovering from eating disorders.
We are not a charity or foundation that offers professional counselling or therapy; there are already a few of them out there and we can help direct you to them if so required.
All the directors of the Foundation have themselves both battled and overcome this awful illness, so understand there is a massive gap for kind of help in which we offer.
When you are deemed to be in “recovery” people have often spent months or years being, if not hospitalised, then at least highly isolated from friends and family. Although they maybe on a road to recovery and good health, the same can't always be said for their confidence. Confidence is KEY to giving someone the tools to move forward with their lives, not relapse and truly leave eating disorders behind.
We are also passionate about educating teenagers about the importance of body confidence and self esteem, after all prevention is better than cure and a generation of kids who feel good about themselves and have an understanding on the ill effects low self esteem can have on you, would go along way in the battle against not only preventing eating disorders but also many other mental illness’s common in today’s generation of adolescents.
Catherine is a successful business woman, with a beautiful 14 year old daughter. Yet, Catherine secretly battled anorexia from the age of 12, when she was passed from educational psychologists, to therapists, to counsellors, and told to “just eat”.
With little knowledge of the illness, doctors were at a loss of how to help Catherine, and there were no specialised eating disorder units that she could be admitted to. So, she suffered alone, confused by the way in which the illness manipulated her and the demons she had to fight internally.
It was only in 1998 that Catherine found the miracle that could help her really fight her illness: she fell pregnant with her daughter. Her baby girl gave her hope and real reason to fight anorexia, and she managed to get professional help for the first time, although it was self-funded.
Her illness also inspired her to start the highly successful business she runs: DiscretlyDivine.com, a lingerie boutique that truly acknowledges that ALL woman have body confidence issues. She and her team give advice on how to enhance the parts of your body you like and draw attention from the parts that you don’t. So any woman can look, and most importantly feel, great in lingerie.
Catherine does not know if she will ever be able to say she has absolutely ‘beat’ her anorexia, an illness that sufferers are never really cured from, but she is proud to say she never let it beat her.
Susan has suffered with anorexia since her very early teens. Despite having battled throughout school, university and work, in December 2006, aged 22, Susan was admitted to hospital. However, this was only following several months of assessments with psychiatrists and consultants, who were trying to decide if she was "ill enough" to receive the expensive private treatment offered by very few specialist facilities in the country. It was only when her weight continued to plummet and a final assessment concluded she had around two days to live, if intervention was not taken, that she was taken to hospital.
Although she initially embraced treatment and the respite it gave provided, her eating disorder rebelled and hated that she was working towards removing it from her life. Susan’s eating disorder had been her family, friend, and confidence; the only one to understand her, comfort her and make her feel like she was something, someone, in control. Like a jealous boyfriend, it did not want to see her with anyone else. Susan convinced the hospital to discharge her from in-patient treatment after just three months, and attended as an outpatient for another six months.
However, despite her attempts to move forward with a seemingly normal life, resulting in complete discharge from hospital in September 2007, relapse was not far away. She spiralled into a cycle of partying and drinking hard, self-harming and bad eating habits. In March 2008, she quit her job and decided to join a friend who was moving to Dubai. Finding a job over there, Susan slowly started to take responsibility for her life and her health.
She still lives in Dubai, and continues to fight her demons every day; but it is a fight she knows is absolutely worth it.
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The Only Way Is Up Foundation are a brand new foundation, set up to help people who have recovered or are recovering from eating disorders.
We are not a charity or foundation that offers professional counseling or therapy; there are already a few of them out there and we can help direct you to them if so required.