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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!

Episode 74: Finding Yourself in Recovery with Eric Pothen

Eric Pothen

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Eric Pothen discusses how well-meaning comments about his body played a part in the development of his eating disorder. Following the body commentary he received after college, he says he started restricting, bingeing, and purging via excessive exercise. Eventually exhausted by the darkness he was living in and the feeling of losing himself, he set out on a path to recovery. He explains how preparing for a marathon helped his recovery because he had to focus on nourishing his body to prepare for the race. He also tells us how affirmations played an integral role in his recovery. Eric ends the podcast by explaining that recovery not only gives you freedom from your eating disorder, but also helps you rediscover and love yourself.

A middle school choir teacher in Albertville, MN, Eric struggled with an eating disorder for several years. Today, he uses his previous struggles of having an eating disorder as his strength to raise awareness and serve as an advocate for those who struggle with these illnesses, disordered eating, or body image. Eric is the owner and founder of the apparel company Embrace Wear, whose mission is to help others learn how to embrace themselves and discover beauty and self-worth within. He recently launched a podcast of his own, Embracing You, which is now available on Apple Podcasts.  

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Staff Spotlight, Jill Fondriest

Jill Fondriest

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Jill Fondriest (she/her), and I am the Office Manager at The Emily Program’s Columbus, Ohio outpatient site. I have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the Urbana University College of Business. I started at The Center for Balanced Living in July 2016, and we became The Emily Program in March 2020., So, I have been with the company for a little over two years and working for clients with eating disorders for almost six years. Initially, I worked with The Emily Program admissions team (an AMAZING team—I adore and miss you all!) before starting in my current role as Office Manager in May 2021.

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How Healthcare Providers Can Identify Eating Disorders in People of Color

Woman using computer on couch

Eating disorders have stereotypically been associated with slim, white, young, heterosexual, cisgender women. In reality, eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of how they look or identify. Eating disorders are brain-based biological illnesses that have complex causes and require specialized care. However, the stereotypical idea of someone with an eating disorder has serious ramifications on who is diagnosed and who then receives proper treatment.

Consequences of the Thin, White Woman Stereotype

Historically, there has been a misconception that eating disorders affect only thin, young, white females. Early research was conducted on only white women, which led people to believe eating disorders were only a white woman’s disease. Despite most providers now knowing that this is false, the initial belief had serious implications for eating disorder treatment today.

This initial stereotype became ingrained in the larger society, with both patients and healthcare providers working under the assumption that eating disorders only happened in certain individuals. Not only did this lead to providers missing eating disorder diagnoses in people of color, but it also caused people of color to question if they really had disordered eating that was worthy of treatment.

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Preventing and Combating Body Shaming

A woman sits at a table resting her arm on the table with her hand on her forehead looking distressed

Eating disorders are complex brain-based illnesses influenced by a variety of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Body shaming—that is, shaming or humiliating an individual for the size or shape of their body—is one environmental factor that can contribute to the development of an eating disorder. It is a risk factor we can work together to prevent and combat. 

In this article, learn what body shaming entails, how it relates to eating disorders, and what you can do to combat it in your everyday life.

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What is Atypical Anorexia?

A woman with an unhappy look on her face works out on an exercise bike at the gym

Anorexia nervosa is one of the most well-known and most discussed eating disorders. What many people might not realize is that there is a similar type of eating disorder called atypical anorexia nervosa, a diagnosis that falls under Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED). The two anorexia diagnoses differ in that those experiencing atypical anorexia meet many but not all of the diagnostic criteria for anorexia. For example, atypical anorexia may apply to someone who is restricting their food intake but is not “underweight.” 

Because OSFED is less well-known, the diagnoses within are sometimes misunderstood as less common illnesses. In reality, OSFED is actually the most prevalent eating disorder category in the DSM. 

In this blog, we will dive into the signs and symptoms, potential effects, and stigma surrounding atypical anorexia. 

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Episode 73: Diabetes and Eating Disorders with Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian

Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian discuss their study on physicians’ knowledge about disordered eating in patients with diabetes. Through their study, they found that many physicians feel that they do not have the resources to help patients who show signs of disordered eating. They also describe warning signs of disordered eating to look for in patients with diabetes, as well as some serious health complications that may occur in patients with an eating disorder and diabetes. They end the conversation by emphasizing the importance of spreading awareness about the elevated eating disorder risk for those with diabetes, as well as highlighting the fact that weight does not determine health.

Dr. Jaime Taylor is the Director of Adolescent Medicine at Beaumont Children’s and is the Medical Director of the Hough Center for Adolescent Health. She is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of adolescents and is passionate about teaching on that subject as an Assistant Professor at Oakland University – William Beaumont School of Medicine. Nayiri Khatchadourian is currently a third-year medical student at Oakland University – William Beaumont School of Medicine. Her passion for advocating for mental health along with nutrition and wellness stemmed from her personal journey and struggles throughout her adolescent years. 

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