Welcome

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 65: Honoring Your Hunger with Hannah Howard

Hannah Howard

Episode description: 

Hannah Howard is a writer and food expert who has spent her career in the food industry serving, bartending, cooking on a line, flipping giant wheels of cheese, managing restaurants, and now writing about food. She is the author of two memoirs, Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen and Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family. 

In this episode of Peace Meal, Hannah tells us about her complex relationship with food, describing how she once feared her own appetite. Food had been the center point of her career–her professional passion–and also a source of anxiety as she struggled silently with an eating disorder. Hannah describes how sharing her story in recovery has not only connected her to others with similar experiences, but also allowed food to be a source of joy and passion once again. In addition, she discusses the  “good” and “bad” labels often applied to food and encourages everyone to approach eating with self-compassion and kindness. She reflects on her experiences of pregnancy in recovery, naming how she set boundaries at the doctor’s office and strives to set a good example for her children. Recovery is a process, one Hannah says she is still learning.

Read more

How Grief Triggered My Eating Disorder

Rosin-Doyle-Guest-Blog

**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.

By Roisin Doyle

At 16 years old, I lost my best friend, my grandmother. She lived with me throughout my entire life. She was an angel on earth who was kind and caring. She loved me and wanted nothing but the best for me. Once she passed away, I gained what I thought was a new best friend. My eating disorder.

Read more

Anxiety and Eating Disorders

A woman has both her hands on her chest and looks stressed

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, but they are still often misunderstood. As with eating disorders, the seriousness of anxiety is often dismissed. When a disorder affects so many people, the behaviors and symptoms can become normalized in our culture, but those suffering deserve help just as much as anyone else. Just like eating disorders are often misunderstood as something that people can just “get over,” many people think anxiety is something that you should be able to move past easily, which is not realistic in either case. In this article, we will cover the definition of anxiety disorder, five common myths, and how eating disorders and anxiety are intertwined. 

Read more

The Importance of Gratitude in Eating Disorder Recovery

A woman sits outside at a table with a coffee journaling

Talking about gratitude is generally something we associate with the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, but gratitude can be useful all year round. For someone with an active eating disorder or in recovery from an eating disorder, the already-hectic holiday season can be even more challenging. Because Thanksgiving is centered around food, you might feel like you have no control; this is normal. Practicing self-care, self-acceptance, and gratitude are all great tools for coping with the stress of the holidays. In this article, we will cover the benefits of a gratitude practice in recovery, how to create your own practice, and how to apply that practice to the holiday season.

Read more

Episode 21: Eating Disorders and the Holidays with Kezia Reeder

A festive holiday table setting

Episode description:

Kezia Reeder is a former Emily Program client and staff member, as well as a continual advocate for eating disorder recovery. In this episode of Peace Meal, she joins host Dr. Jillian Lampert to describe her holidays with an eating disorder. Kezia’s insight is valuable not just for those currently struggling, but also for parents and others supporting loved ones who are. 

For those who celebrate, the holidays can be a hard time for individuals with eating disorders. Not only do Western holidays often center on food, but they also often bring stressors related to seeing people for the first time in a while. This year, as collective anxiety surrounding COVID-19, vaccinations, and variants lingers, the holidays may be especially challenging. Reflecting on holidays past with an eating disorder, our guest Kezia says she struggled at first without any outside support. She hid her disorder from family and friends, suffering in silence amid food- and body-related conversations and a lack of routine around meals. During her recovery, Kezia explains that she used trial and error to navigate the holidays successfully. The more present she was in treatment, she says, the more present she could be outside of it. With the help of her treatment team, she learned how to enlist family support—a key element to her recovery—develop a meal plan, and approach holiday food as just food.

Read more

Eating Disorder Support For Your Teen Over The Holidays

A teen holding a gift and hugging another person

For people with eating disorders, the holidays—the eating, the socializing, the changes in routine—are often an annual stressor. Intensifying the challenges again this year are the still-high levels of anxiety, discomfort, and fatigue hovering over this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether your family’s 2021 holiday plans are virtual, in person, or some combination of both, supporting your teenager with an eating disorder can be a meaningful part of them. Consider these suggestions to help your teenager navigate the holidays ahead in recovery.

Read more

The Emily Program Logo