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!

Who Am I Without My Eating Disorder?

Man looking out on water

It’s a phrase repeated often in recovery: You are not your eating disorder. Your disorder does not define you. You are not anorexic. You are not bulimic. You are not a binge eater.

You may have these illnesses, but you are not them.

So, who are you?

The question may be met with uncertainty, fear, and anxiety, especially in the early stages of eating disorder recovery. Three short words, one giant question: Who am I?

Read more

Midwest Kitchen

Woman setting pan with food on kitchen table

**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.

Elizabeth O. is a writer, doula, and identity navigation specialist from Pennsylvania who loves thinking and talking about how to make our relationships places to heal from oppression.

The role of gender and whiteness in the development of my eating disorder

My maternal grandmother passed away from cancer three years ago. All within less than two weeks, she went from healthy to gone. She was a Minnesota Baptist minister’s wife, and five days before she passed, she lay in the hospital with her end-of-life care pastor and me.

Read more

It’s Over, ED: Bidding Farewell to an Eating Disorder

Woman walking along empty gravel road

**Content warning: 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 blog was submitted anonymously

Listen, ED, I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t do the bingeing, the purging, the restricting. For eight years we had something, something intense and intimate. It once meant a lot to me, this thing we had, but people change and now we’re through.

Believe me when I say breaking up with you is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I really did love you. And hate you. For years your abusive arms were comforting; they were strong and familiar, and I couldn’t imagine life outside them. But I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I’m leaving you for good.

Read more

Staff Spotlight, Jenna Daugherty

Jenna Daugherty

TEP: Tell us about yourself!

Jenna: My name is Jenna Daugherty, and I’ve been working at The Emily Program since 2015. I started as a dietitian at the Cleveland residential site when it opened, then moved to the Cleveland outpatient site in 2016. My current role is as a program dietitian for our adult standard program. I also recently became a clinical manager and am enjoying working more closely with employees in addition to clients!

Read more

Episode 26: Eating Disorders During Coronavirus with Thom Rutledge

Woman working at home

Episode description:

Author and psychotherapist Thom Rutledge joins Peace Meal to discuss how people with eating disorders can prioritize recovery during the coronavirus pandemic. While “Ed”—the eating disorder—may try to co-opt the current cultural anxiety and changes in food, exercise, and environment for his purposes, Thom explains how we can intervene. With the support of others, we can reclaim our power and use the situation as an opportunity to strengthen our recovery efforts.

Read more

Christmas Morning for Ed

Woman talking on phone in front of laptop

**Content warning: 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 Bev T.

I’ve been dealing with chronic anorexia for many years. I have periods of time when I do well in my recovery battle and times when I feel like I’m back at the beginning. When dealing with an eating disorder, as you well know, it’s not just about meal plans and food intake. It’s about isolation, anxiety, panic, and all the noise you are hearing in your head from the entire committee, not just Ed. The Noise, as I call it, is overwhelming at times. Right now being one of those times, that noise can be devastating and in some ways deadly.

Everyone is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic causing widespread panic and anxiety. Dealing with everything being shut down and told over and over to stay home and self-isolate. No contact with people, and keeping 6 feet away from those you do come in contact with. Let me make this really clear: To someone with an eating disorder or those who have an entire committee in your head, as I do, this is like CHRISTMAS MORNING for the eating disorder.

Read more

The Emily Program Logo