I'm Bríd - it's an Irish name that sounds like Br-eed ☺️
I’m a certified food and body coach. My mission is to help women break up with the binge-restrict cycle and heal their relationship with food and their body image.
I started Free With Bríd as a way to turn my own 10-year mess into a message for others struggling. It seems like a crime to me to hold onto all of the wisdom I've gathered over the years without sharing it! So here I am!
My eating disorder slowly crept on at around the age of 16 when my life was uprooted from Hong Kong and we moved to Moscow. It turned everything upside down and I suddenly felt like my life had changed completely. I didn’t have the same strong social group I’d had before and started to lose myself. I stopped going out with friends as much, I stopped playing sport, and lost self-confidence.
I started eating double portions for dinner, and substituted my old, healthy habits for chocolatey cereals, pizzas at the canteen for lunch and twixes after dinner. Before I knew it, my body was beginning to change.
Once I got to university in London, things went downhill very quickly as I felt isolated living in my tiny dorm room and finding out that my parents were getting divorced. Food soon became my distraction from all of the turbulent emotions I was going through...
With bingeing, came the panic and need to control the situation - which meant none of other than dieting! Over the years, I went through a rollercoaster of yoyo-ing in weight and trying every diet under the sun. Juicing, plant-based, keto, intermittent fasting, low-fat, high-protein - you name it, I tried it (unsuccessfully!).
With every dieting failure, the intensity of my bingeing increased and my life felt further and further out of control. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me - why couldn’t I get this one simple thing right that everyone else could - eating!
To try to compensate for my ever-increasing weight, I obsessively exercised. At one point, I was going to the gym 2-3 hours a day doing mostly mindless cardio. Fun times!
I also isolated myself from old friends and family, embarrassed by what I thought they’d think about my appearance. Which then obviously made me feel even more lonely (one of the reasons I was bingeing).
I tried it all - therapists, CBT, hypnotherapy, books, meditation, nutrition, gratitude journalling, homeopathy, reiki, documentaries.
I’d spent so much of my time and energy thinking about my bingeing problems and my weight, that once out of university, I felt completely lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, which led to things spiralling further.
I began to dive into extreme measures to try to control my struggle - I went to detox retreats, ran half-marathons, tried fasting for days on end! It was exhausting! I lost a lot of weight over this time but found it extremely difficult to maintain - it was a constant struggle.
Eventually, my road to recovery began when I got a job in London and moved into my mother’s home. My life began to stabilise and I was able to begin building a strong social network that I’d be yearning for for almost a decade.
Healing started slowly, with many hurdles along the way. My self-worth was still at rock-bottom as I found myself in a string of highly toxic relationships with guys. But overtime, other elements of my life were finally falling into place as I healed my relationship with food and my body image.
Once I finally let go of the last of those toxic (ew!) relationships, everything took off! I finally began to realise how amazing, loveable and beautiful I was. This emotional release was the last step for me in fully allowing myself to heal.
Over the following year, got down to my body’s natural set weight without trying at all. And that was simply because my bingeing completely stopped! The word completely left my vocabulary!
I gradually let go of all of my food rules that I’d cemented into my brain over years of dieting and restricting. Now, food is there to nourish my body and soul. It’s no longer used to numb unwanted emotions.
Now that I don’t spend most of my time obsessing over losing weight and bingeing, I have the time and energy to pursue things I love - like socialising, learning, and building my business. I’m finally the woman I was deep-down and living my best life!
And that is my journey in a nutshell. Do you relate to any of it?
If so, you’ve definitely come to the right place!
Those tumultuous 10 years of my life helped me identify what works and what doesn’t. I’ve realised how important mindset, challenging food rules, and dealing with deeper emotional issues is to reaching food freedom and being the best you!
I can’t wait to help you heal and stop feeling guilty about food and crappy about your body image! 💖