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There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@emilyprogram.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

Navigating Summer in Eating Disorder Recovery

A family picnic

Many travel and event plans have changed, but the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped summer from coming. It’s officially here—and with it, so are socially distant picnics, cookouts, and barbecues. For those struggling with eating disorders, summertime eating and dressing can be stressful and anxiety-provoking. Warm-weather celebrations often exacerbate worries about food and our bodies, making recovery challenging and complex. But it’s not impossible.

With a commitment to yourself and continued healing, you can maintain eating disorder recovery and participate in this season’s celebrations. Here are some tips for surviving summer with an eating disorder.

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Eating Disorders in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community

A heart made from hands set with a rainbow filter

Eating disorders are disproportionately common in segments of the LGBTQ community. Disproving the myth that these illnesses impact only straight, cisgender people, research and personal accounts show that all sexual and gender identities are affected—and sexual and gender minorities perhaps even more so than non-LGBTQ people.

The LGBTQ acronym encompasses several distinct sexual and gender identities. It is an umbrella term that represents a group as diverse and varied as non-LGBTQ people, though often treated as a singular group. While we cannot generalize eating disorder experiences within the LGBTQ community—or outside of it—here we explore eating disorders in one segment: those who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB). These terms refer to sexual orientation, while “transgender” refers to gender identity. For more on eating disorders in those who identify as transgender, please read Eating Disorders in the Transgender Community.

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When I Said

A woman in thought

**Content warning: 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, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

This poem was submitted anonymously by a former Emily Program client.

I wrote “When I Said” when I began treatment for anorexia four years ago. I felt guilty for the lies I used to cover up my eating disorder behaviors, but I learned to see that deception and manipulation were actually part of my illness.

Now when I read this poem, I see two voices speaking. One is my eating disorder and the other is my true, healthy self. Today I’m thankful that my voice is much louder than the eating disorder’s.

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Identifying Eating Disorders in Children and Teens

A doctor and a female child

Regular doctor visits are essential to a child’s and teenager’s overall health. These routine checkups are an opportunity to not only chart growth and development, but also to screen for a range of physical and mental health conditions, including eating disorders.

In fact, pediatricians and other primary care providers are often our first line of defense against eating disorders. Well-positioned to monitor ongoing health at well-child visits and other physicals, providers have a unique role in detecting and addressing any issues with food and body. Early identification of eating disorder symptoms can help prevent and interrupt the development of these serious disorders.

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How Does Bulimia Affect Your Teeth?

A dentist speaking with a patient

**Content warning: This post includes discussion of purging behaviors. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed. The following information is not intended as dental or medical advice or as a substitute for professional treatment.

By Dr. Kumar Kolar

With over 14 years’ experience, Dr. Kumar Kolar is a dentist in London, England. He is focused on empowering readers to learn about their dental health and have confidence in their teeth and smile. You can learn more about him on his website and read more of his articles on his blog

Like all eating disorders, bulimia nervosa is a mental health disorder that also affects the well-being of our physical bodies. One of the first places that exhibits physical signs of damage is the mouth and teeth. People with bulimia may experience pain, discomfort, and sensitivity when chewing as a result of bulimic behaviors.

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Episode 30: The Basics of Eating Disorder Lawmaking with Katrina Velasquez

U.S. Capitol

Episode description:

Attorney Katrina Velasquez is the Founder and Managing Principal of Center Road Solutions, a public policy firm that works with the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action (EDC) to advance eating disorders as a public health priority on Capitol Hill.

Katrina takes us through the federal legislative process in this episode of Peace Meal. She outlines how ideas are introduced as bills, discussed and amended by committees, and ultimately voted on to become laws. Describing the influence of politics, timing, and leadership, she shows how the process can be lengthy and involved. Citizen participation, however, is vital and not as intimidating as it may seem.

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