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Get help. Refer a patient.
Find hope. 888-364-5977

Blog Archives: April 2015

Let's Talk Weight Biases

April 30, 2015.
  • This is one person's experience and perspective. Some information may be triggering to those who struggle with an eating disorder or body image. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    By Tiffany Hammer, The Emily Program Outreach Specialist

    Did you know one of the most defining moments of Mr. Rogers' life was being teased for being fat at the age of 8? The schoolyard bullies called him "Fat Freddy" and teased him mercilessly. "I used to cry to myself when I was alone," he said. "And I would cry through my fingers and make up songs on the piano." The adults around him would tell him to stay silent and not react, which was an emotional injustice to him. As a defining moment in his life feeling helpless through ignoring the cruel words, he decided that he would always look past the surface and see what was invisible as the essence of a person.

    What breaks my heart most about this, and makes me rather defensive, is that this is Mr. Rogers--one who is recognized as one of the kindest people who has ever lived--being tormented and teased about his weight. To pour salt in the wound, that was in 1936 and even now we still have people of all ages mocked and teased for their appearance. We know, socially and culturally, that basing judgment on someone's appearance is wrong. There are plenty of adages like "don't judge a book by its cover" or "it's what's inside that counts," we know better! Yet, there are some culturally held biases that, while unspoken, are accepted on a society scale. One of these biases that is incredibly pervasive is the shaming of people who are "overweight."

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What I Learned From Meditation

April 28, 2015.
  • photo of bird tracks in sand 685x375

    By Dana Rademacher, intern at The Emily Program

    We all have stress in our lives; whether from school, work, family or countless other contributors, we all face stress in some way or another. Often times, it can be hard to live outside this stress and it can seem to take over our lives. As someone who has lived with anxiety, this can feel especially true and I needed to find something that could help me manage my anxious feelings.

    For me, it wasn't about getting rid of anxiety completely, (because it is almost impossible to never experience that emotion) but I wanted to keep it in control, so my therapist suggested meditation and mindfulness practices. These practices helped me a great deal in managing my anxiety (and I would suggest anyone who is feeling stress to try some!), but meditation also helped me learn things I can apply to other areas of my life.

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Heart Rates and Eating Disorders

April 23, 2015. Written by Mark Warren, M.D.
  • photo of an EKG Heartbeat

    By Dr. Mark Warren, chief medical officer at The Emily Program

    One area that is a constant concern with those with eating disorders has to do with heart rate, in particular, low heart rate. This issue is generally observed at low body weight but can happen anytime there has been a significant amount of weight loss. In general, as one loses weight one loses muscle mass. With the loss of muscle mass there may be loss of heart mass as the heart is a muscle.

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A Little Hope, a Lot of Support

April 16, 2015.
  • This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    By Liz Rognes, a former Emily Program client in recovery. She is a teacher, writer, and musician who lives in Spokane, WA.

    photo of Sunset and Palm Trees Maui

    I have always been something of a perfectionist. As a student, I aimed for straight A's and I was involved in everything, but just beneath the surface, I was filled with insecurity, uncertainty, and shame. No matter what I did, I didn't feel like I was good enough. I had terrible anxiety, and I didn't know how to talk about it, so I just kept feeling anxious. Bulimia and anorexia became a way for me to attempt to manage that anxiety, but instead, my feelings of anxiety and shame intensified. I struggled with an eating disorder throughout high school, and when I moved away to college, I thought it could be a way to finally escape the eating disorder. I thought that moving away from my little Iowa farm town, away from old triggers and patterns, might simply erase the eating disorder chatter and urges.

    And, in fact, for the first semester of college, things were okay. I was using eating disorder symptoms less than I had been before. I made friends. I learned about new concepts and theories in my classes: music theory, feminism, philosophy, and I discovered that I loved talking about ideas and examining various points of view. I felt inspired by academia, and I knew that I wanted to give my whole attention to my studies, but I still had the pull of bulimia holding me back.

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Yoga: Heart Openers

April 14, 2015.
  • photo of Lisa Diers demonstrating Yoga Heart Openers

    By Lisa Diers, RD, LD, E-RYT, Director of Nutrition and Yoga Services Manager

    Hi Everyone,

    Today's Emily Program yoga blog focuses on the heart and opening the front of the body. For many of us, much of our time is spent rounding forward. Whether that's from typing, texting, reading, watching TV, videos, or from carrying "burdens on our backs." Many of us could benefit from a stretch in the front of our body to help reverse the effects of our daily experiences. Maybe you want to open your heart to receive what you need and let go of what no longer serves you. Or perhaps you want to experience the grounding and healing benefit of your heart beat. The beat that has been with you your entire life.

    Whatever your intention, practice in a way that feels best for you- trusting the wisdom of your body.

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What to Expect When You See a Dietitian at The Emily Program

April 09, 2015.
  • By Lisa Diers, RD, LD, E-RYT, Director of Nutrition Services

    Today I want to talk about the role of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and what to expect in your first session with a RDN at The Emily Program.

    At The Emily Program, part of your treatment will likely included meeting with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. And you may be wondering -- what role does the RD play in recovery?

    Well, let's talk about it!

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Family-Based Therapy (FBT) Family Meals

April 07, 2015. Written by Lucene Wisniewski, PhD
  • WordsWithWisniewski

    By Lucene Wisniewski, chief clinical officer

    "How do Parents of Adolescent Patients with Anorexia Nervosa Interact with their Child at Mealtimes? A study of Parental Strategies used in the Family Meal Session of FBT." International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol 48, issue 1, p. 72-80 White, Haycraft, Madden, Rhodes, Miskovic-Wheatley, Wallis, Kohn & Meyer (2015)

    This recent study examined the types of parental mealtime strategies used during a family meal session of Family-Based Therapy (FBT). Researchers studied 21 families with children between the ages of 12 to 18 who were receiving FBT for anorexia nervosa. They also were interested in the emotional tone of the meal, as well as the parents' ability to get their child to eat.

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Confronting Fear Food in Recovery

April 02, 2015.
  • This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    By Clare Harmon, a former Emily Program client and woman in recovery

    When people ask me about my recovery, I always say that it is, above all else, a practice. It's the application of skills I learned in treatment, it's daily reflection, it's forgiveness, and it's grace. Of course, everyone's journey to, in, and through recovery is unique; I'm honored to be given the opportunity to articulate a bit of my own.

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