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!

A Quick Guide to Insurance for Eating Disorder Care

Health Insurance

The year is winding down, and now is an ideal time to use insurance benefits before they expire. For many people, however, insurance can be a confusing and overwhelming topic.

There are several common questions referring providers have related to insurance coverage for eating disorder care. In this reference guide, we’ll answer some of these questions, define common insurance-related terms, and provide a brief overview of some insurance companies we work with at The Emily Program.

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Episode 64: Healing Has No Age Limit with Betsy Brenner

Betsy Brenner

Episode description: 

Betsy is a long-time tennis coach, retired hospital attorney, and the author of a memoir titled The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Midlife. Her inspiring message is that it is never too late to be a work in progress. Betsy is also an eating disorder recovery speaker, advocate, and peer support mentor who shows that it is possible to heal from past trauma and become healthier in body, mind, and spirit.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Betsy discusses how she was taught to suppress her emotions growing up, how dealing with her trauma was the only way to recover from her eating disorder, and how you’re never too old to start healing. She tells us how the food she consumed as a child was completely controlled by her mother, and how that prevented her from learning how to eat intuitively. She also covers the combination of events that led to her developing an eating disorder in midlife. Betsy shares that telling her story in her memoir lifted the weight of her trauma and made her feel empowered and free. She emphasizes that you can recover, as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and deal with the trauma you’ve experienced.

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Do I Have an Eating Disorder?

A young woman looking out the window with a reflective look on her face

Eating disorders are much more prevalent than many people realize. In the U.S. alone, more than 30 million people will struggle with one. An eating disorder is a complex mental illness that affects an individual’s eating habits and can cause severe distress about body weight and shape. Disturbed eating patterns can look anything like extreme food restriction to periods of excessive food intake.

How do we know when disordered eating becomes an eating disorder? It can be difficult to distinguish between the two when dieting is so prevalent and excessive exercise is glorified. However, eating disorders, unlike disordered eating, impair one’s health and ability to function in terms of life goals, relationships, career, and more. 

There are many types of eating disorders, each with an array of signs and symptoms, including anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, ARFID, and OSFED. In this article, we will cover the warning signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, the key questions to ask yourself if you are concerned you have one, and the misperception that eating disorders only affect young, thin, white women.

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Staff Spotlight, Karli Alger

Karli Alger

Tell us about yourself!

Hello! I am Karli Alger and I work as the PHP program dietitian at the Columbus site. I have been working as an eating disorder dietitian for almost five years and have been with The Emily Program for the past year. 

Describe the educational and career path that led you to The Emily Program.

I graduated with my BS from Ohio State University in 2013 and received my RD, LD shortly after. I worked in outpatient settings for my first three years with a focus on general health and nutrition. The more I counseled clients though, I started to see that there was a deeper emotional and psychological component to people’s food choices. I wanted to help, but I needed guidance and training under the supervision of eating disorder clinicians. That led me to apply for a position as a dietitian at the Center for Balanced Living in Columbus, Ohio, where I began my first eating disorder work.

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P.R.E.P. for the Holidays

A place setting with orange leaves on the plate and around the plate with pumpkins on the table

As the season changes to fall, our attention is drawn toward the upcoming holidays. Often marketed as the “most wonderful time of the year,” the holidays can be an especially challenging time for those dealing with disordered eating and eating disorders.

Now is the time to prepare for this approaching holiday season so you can feel the greatest level of support for your recovery efforts and create the opportunity to engage in what can be enjoyed or appreciated. Here are a few tips on how to P.R.E.P. for the holidays.

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Episode 63: Healing from Compulsive Exercise with Amy Gardner

Amy Gardner

Episode description: 

Amy Gardner, MS, CEDRD, RYT, is the creator of the program iMove and the author of the book iMove: Helping Your Clients Heal from Compulsive Exercise. The book discusses the difference between movement and exercise, and how each relates to eating disorder recovery.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Amy breaks down what compulsive exercise and movement are, both in and out of the recovery space, how to notice when exercise turns into a compulsion, and what to do when compulsive exercise starts to become the only way some individuals feel a sense of accomplishment. Amy provides insights based on her and her clients’ experiences with movement and offers different approaches to changing compulsive exercise routines.

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