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I will help you to overcome an eating disorder or low body confidence & the related thoughts, fears and behaviours that prevent you from living the free life you deserve.

Helly Barnes image

I developed an eating disorder when I was 27.  Up until then, I had no history of dieting, body issues, over exercise or anything else that could have predicted my fate.

Then, after a (what turned out to be) misguided decision to join a gym to 'tone up' for my upcoming wedding, I found myself lost and confused with a powerful eating disorder.

For over 12 years I lived with the illness.

I went in and out of inpatient treatment, always desperately wanting to recover but never reaching a recovered state that was physically or mentally sufficient or that gave me the tools to keep going in my recovery once I was back home.

My marriage failed.

I became more and more isolated with each passing year as the illness grew stronger.

I maintained a career (outside spells in treatment) but that was all I had.

After a decade of this, I had truly come to believe that I had met my destiny.  I started to wonder if the 'experts' were right and that I was a chronic case and could only hope to maintain a quality of life within a miserable and destructive illness.

When my 40th birthday came around, it hit me hard.  I could not fathom living like this for the rest of my life.  I made the decision that I had to do everything, try anything and just find out what was possible.

Moving back in with my parents as an adult and asking for support was the hardest and most painful but also the best decision I made.

Over a period of less than six months there were a lot of ups, downs, tears and tantrums.  Those short months were the hardest of my life but I would not change them as there were also times that were magical, in which I learnt just what was possible.

Without professional help, I took steps that deep down, I knew were right.  I finally truly understood that recovery had to come from me - no one could do this for me.  And so I started to heal.

My body grew, my mind slowly learnt that I was safe, despite unlimited food and rest.

I soon came further into recovery than I ever had or even believed I could.

As I moved back into my own apartment and returned to employment, my life grew in incredible ways.

Since that time, I have always been conscious that there are many others, like I was, battling a powerful eating disorder and related behaviours, left to believe they can't have more from life.

I therefore decided to use my knowledge and experience, expand my skills and support people who are like I was:  lost, confused and feeling alone in a diet obsessed culture so that they can take the very necessary steps to overcome the eating disorder consuming their life and do so with courage and commitment.

If you want to know more about me and my journey, I kept a personal blog during my recovery which remains live and active and can be found at

Working with Me...

Should you choose to work with me, I will help you to identify the goals you have, based on your reality and keep you accountable to carry out the actions you have decided on that will move you towards the future vision you create.

Making changes that feel uncomfortable, no matter how much we want the results can be hard to do alone, especially when you throw paralysing fear, anxieties and irrational thoughts into the mix!


However, I believe in your ability to have the fulfilled life you desire and I will be there to keep you focused, encourage, motivate and cheerlead (but also give the odd push!) so that you can get results.  At the end of the day, you want a coach, not a new best friend, so I won't be afraid to ask the questions that you need to be asked and that a friend might not.

And yes, I have had an eating disorder myself.  I do understand more than others might but I will avoid putting my experiences onto you.  We might have similarities but I understand we are not the same and your steps forward might look very different to mine or someone else's and that is more than ok.

My Qualifications:

As well as having been a qualified nurse with a Bachelor's degree and various advanced nursing certificates, my qualifications are as follows:

  • Life Coach Training Certificate accredited by the International Coaching Federation, currently studying (due to complete in early 2022).

  • Applied Neuroscience and Brain Health Certificate - The Neuroscience Academy - 2020.

  • The Female Brain Certificate - The Neuroscience Academy - 2020.

  • Mental Health First Aid Qualified - MHFA England - 2022

  • Intuitive Eating Certificate - 2020

  • Sleep: Neurobiology, Medicine & Society Certificate - University of Michigan - 2020.

  • Lived Experience of Eating Disorders And Recovery!

I apply all the knowledge I have gained from my training into the coaching methods I offer.

Other facts about me are...

I have been waiting for George Clooney to call since I became obsessed with the first series of ER as a teenager, my favourite flower is a daisy and I have a signed photo of President George Bush Senior!

*Please note that the coaching work I do is not in a health professional capacity and a coach is not a therapist or counsellor.  My background as a nurse provides me with transferable skills and experience but if you have a need to see a health professional then it is important that you do so outside of any coaching relationship we may have.  If I am concerned that your physical or mental health is not sufficiently stable then I reserve the right to refuse to work with you until you have received professional treatment to achieve this.

A Bit About Me

Helly Barnes ~ Professional Coach
Mission Statement

“I support adults to overcome eating disorders, using principles based in neuroscience, to achieve mental freedom, body confidence and recognise that they are super-heroes to achieve this despite living in a diet-obsessed world!"

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