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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!

The Trouble with Diet, Weight Loss, and Exercise Resolutions

A woman rests during a run and looks exhausted

Diet culture thrives around the New Year holiday. In our society, the new year is a time for self-reflection, and often that leads people to decide to get “healthier.” The problem is that the diet industry has co-opted “health” and “wellness,” causing many people to believe the misconception that thin equals healthy. As a result, the well-intentioned goal of “healthier living” can become solely weight-loss-focused. 

In a culture obsessed with weight and food, it is no surprise that resolutions surrounding diet, weight loss, and exercise are so rampant. Our culture is fixated on thinness, and specifically, thinness as something that everyone should strive for in order to be attractive, popular, successful, and healthy. In this article, we will cover the trouble with diet, weight loss, and exercise resolutions, including their impact on those experiencing, recovering from, or at risk of developing an eating disorder. 

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Episode 66: A Compilation of Advice for Those Doubting Recovery

A red plate sits on a table with hot cider and gingerbread cookies. Christmas decorations surround the plate,

Episode description: 

In this special holiday episode, we have compiled some powerful insights on recovery from several of our 2021 guests who have experienced it themselves. Throughout the year, we asked our podcast guests with a personal eating disorder story this question: “What would you tell someone listening who believes recovery isn’t possible for them?” This episode features some of the answers we received in response. 

Many of our guests share how they once thought that recovery wasn’t possible for them as well, but every little step they made toward healing was so important. While acknowledging how challenging recovery can be, they also emphasize how much better it is than having an eating disorder. If you are experiencing or recovering from an eating disorder yourself, we hope that this episode leaves you with some hope and wisdom on your path to healing.

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Navigating Unwanted Food and Body Comments During The Holidays

Young people talking beside a holiday tree

Before attending a holiday event in eating disorder recovery, it is wise to prepare for comments you may receive about food or your body. Navigating these conversations can be tricky any day of the year, but they may be even more challenging as the pandemic continues to loom and flare. COVID-19 has caused numerous family get-togethers to be postponed or canceled in the past two years. For those getting together this holiday season, there may be increased anxiety after not seeing family after an extended period of time. For those with eating disorders—many who experienced a worsening of symptoms or new symptoms due to the pandemic—the anxiety is likely only compounded by the holiday hyperfocus on food.

In addition to the anxiety surrounding food-centric get-togethers, the holidays can bring uncomfortable or triggering conversations with family or friends. For those in eating disorder recovery, learning how to navigate these conversations is a useful skill. In this article, we will discuss how to set boundaries, change the subject, or excuse yourself from conversations that may be unhelpful to your recovery this holiday season.

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Finding Moments of Light this Holiday Season

A Christmas tree with red ornaments and white string lights

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in 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.

Katie Price is a registered nurse and yoga teacher whose understanding of what it means to care for bodies—both hers and others’—has been shaped by her recovery from anorexia. She cares deeply about walking alongside those who are struggling with eating disorders and hopes that by sharing her story, she can offer hope and support.

I spent Thanksgiving this year in an eating disorder treatment program. Laminated index cards with encouraging phrases like, “You are enough,” “Recovery is worth it,” and “One bite at a time,” decorated our long wooden table. When we sat down to eat, each person shared an intention for the meal: “Stay present,” “Ask for help if I’m struggling,” “Just get through it.” Then a timer started and forks were slowly lifted. Legs jittered beneath the table. We talked about funny family holiday traditions. There was some conversation, some laughter, and then long silent pauses. The internal battles being fought were almost palpable. Some battles were won. A young woman looked at the girl sitting beside her and asked, “First bite of dessert together?” And they sunk forks into pumpkin pie in unison. But others were lost in their struggle. Wide eyes stared frightened at stuffing and turkey. Tears welled up and fell silently. I know this battle well, when you sit down at the dinner table and your body reacts with panic like it needs to run away from a bear. I remember how it feels for your hand to shake with anxiety as you lift a bite to your mouth and how the food seems to expand on the plate as if the portion could continuously grow. But now, working for the program as a nurse, I don’t think too much about the food; my mind is present and my body is relaxed. I have recovered from my own eating disorder, a grace I am endlessly grateful for and do not take for granted.

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Staff Spotlight, Joe McGlone

Joe McGlone

Tell us about yourself!

Hello! My name is Joe McGlone, and I am the Salesforce Database Manager for the Communications team at Accanto Health. I am located at our St. Paul office but have been working remotely for the past year and a half; I’ve been working for The Emily Program for nearly three years now.

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Finding Hope This Holiday Season

A gift near pine tree ornaments

As we celebrate the holiday season of 2021, it is easy to remember the holiday season of 2020, our first holiday during the pandemic. When COVID-19 became an issue—a deadly issue—for our country and our clients, we were all aware of how many things in our lives turned upside down or stopped completely. All our daily lives have changed more than we ever could have imagined. Many have lost loved ones or had their own health significantly impacted.

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