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.

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Support for Families

You always have our support

It’s vital to have a strong support system when undergoing eating disorder treatment. Our free community events are places where you can connect with other individuals and families going through similar experiences. Join us to learn about eating disorders, share stories, and find hope for recovery.

Virtual Support Groups

The National Alliance for Eating Disorders offers free virtual support groups led by licensed eating disorder clinicians. Among them are weekly Pro-Recovery Support Groups for adults affected by an eating disorder and Friends & Family Support Groups for loved ones.

  • Pro-Recovery Support Group: Mondays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
  • Pro-Recovery Support Group: Saturdays, 8am PT, 10am CT, 11am ET
  • LGBTQ+ Pro-Recovery Support Group: Wednesdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
  • Friends & Family Support Group: Wednesdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET

Learn more and register on The Alliance’s website.

Recovery Nights

Hear speakers share their personal stories of dedication and perseverance on the road to recovery from eating disorders. Speakers include Emily Program staff, former clients, and community members. Recovery Night is free and open to the public; anyone is invited to attend, including clients, support people, and the community. We know healing is not an easy journey but you can find hope here. Find the Recovery Night schedule below.

Minnesota

MINNESOTA

St. Paul - Como (6:30pm CT):

2265 Como Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Upcoming dates: None currently scheduled

St. Paul Adolescent & Young Adult - Toogood (6pm CT):

2230 Como Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Upcoming dates: None currently scheduled

Washington

WASHINGTON

Seattle (6–7:30pm PT):

1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109  

Upcoming dates: None currently scheduled

Share your recovery story

Your experience on the path to recovery can inspire others and affirm that there is hope. If you are willing to share your recovery story in a genuine and honest way, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

St. Paul (Como), MN

Molly McCann
1-888-364-5977 ext. 1166

Seattle, WA

Kristen Myers
1-888-364-5977 ext. 1806

ED 101: Understanding Eating Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery

We know how overwhelming an eating disorder diagnosis can be for families and friends. The terminology. The process. The uncertainties. Share an evening with us to learn about eating disorders, our personalized treatment programs, and the path to recovery. Our knowledgeable staff at The Emily Program answer common concerns of families and friends facing eating disorder issues for the first time. You’ll leave with valuable resources and a better understanding of this serious mental health issue. We recommend family and friends who are new to eating disorders attend this session at least once before joining a Friends and Family Session for a better experience in the group.

Virtual Event: Eating Disorders 101, Hosted by Hannah Kirby MS, RD, CD, Dietitian at our Seattle outpatient location: 2nd Thursday of the month, 6–7pm PT.

Upcoming dates: Oct. 13th, Nov. 10th, Dec. 8th. Join us via Zoom

Friends and Family Sessions

The Emily Program offers free evening Friends and Family Sessions open to the public. No need to register; just drop in. (Please note: This group is intended for family and friends providing support to loved ones with an eating disorder. If you are a client or potential client, please attend our ED 101 or Recovery Night events if you would like to learn more.)

Virtual Event: Friends and Family Session, Hosted by Melissa Harmon, MA, LMHC, Clinical Manager at our Seattle outpatient location: 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 6–7pm PT.

Upcoming dates: Oct. 6th, Nov. 3rd, Dec. 1st. Join us via Zoom

And: Sept. 15th, Oct. 20th, Nov. 17th, Dec. 15th. Join us via Zoom

"Emily Program Experts" Recovery Series

These community-based discussions around recovery are led by Emily Program clinicians.

wa city skyline

WASHINGTON

Seattle (6–7:30pm PT):

1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98109  

Upcoming dates: 
October 19th: Join us via Zoom

January 24th: Join us via Zoom

April 19th: Join us via Zoom

"Ask an Expert" Live

Join us on social media for "Ask an Expert" live. Dr. Jillian Lampert answers common questions about eating disorders, treatment, and recovery from our social media followers.

Ask an Expert Facebook live: Friday, September 9th, 9am PT, 11am CT, 12pm ET. 

Ask an Expert Instagram live: Tuesday, November 8th, 11:30am PT, 1:30pm CT, 2:30pm ET. 

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Get Help

Get help. Find hope.

Please provide contact information below and we will connect with you within one business day. You also may call us directly at 1-888-364-5977. If this is an emergency, do not use this form. Call 911 or your nearest hospital.

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    Get Help for a Friend

    Three Ways To Help A Friend With An Eating Disorder

    Take our Eating Disorder Assessment Quiz

    Our Eating Disorder Assessment Quiz takes just a few minutes. It’s a simple tool that helps you to see whether or not you should be concerned. Take the quiz.

    Talk with your friend

    Your friend’s health is more important than keeping secrets or shying away from talking to their family. Share your concerns. Be prepared to provide examples of behaviors that alerted you to the problem. And offer the next step—tell your friend to call us at 1-888-364-5977 or show your friend our website to start the journey to healthy living.

    Learn more about eating disorders

    We invite family and friends to attend our support nights so you can learn how to play an important role in your friend’s recovery.

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    For Families

    When someone you care about struggles with food, the symptoms of the eating disorder touch everyone in the family. The perplexing behaviors can bring frustration, fear, and heartache. We know. Since 1993, The Emily Program has worked closely with families, friends, and other loved ones to help them cope with the consequences of eating disorders. Contact us at 1-888-364-5977 or fill out this form.

    When your child struggles with an eating disorder

    Our approach

    Parents and families take an active role in the recovery journey. At The Emily Program, we use the proven Maudsley Method, also known as Family-Based Treatment (FBT), in our personalized treatment programs for children, adolescents, and young adults with eating disorders. 

    Care that is right for your child

    We offer a full continuum of care, including outpatient, intensive outpatient/partial hospitalization, and residential treatment, all of which provide daily therapeutic meals and snacks, therapy sessions, and time for schoolwork.

    You always have our support

    After you complete your intake appointment at The Emily Program, you’ll have access to the Office Manager at your programming site who will be your primary resource and support for all care needs and questions.

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    Resources for Families

    Virtual Support Groups

    The National Alliance for Eating Disorders offers free virtual support groups led by licensed eating disorder clinicians. Among them are weekly Pro-Recovery Support Groups for adults affected by an eating disorder and Friends & Family Support Groups for loved ones.

    • Pro-Recovery Support Group: Mondays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
    • Pro-Recovery Support Group: Saturdays, 8am PT, 10am CT, 11am ET
    • LGBTQ+ Pro-Recovery Support Group: Wednesdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET
    • Friends & Family Support Group: Wednesdays, 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET

    Learn more and register on The Alliance’s website.

    Recovery Nights

    Hear speakers share their personal stories of dedication and perseverance on the road to recovery from eating disorders. Speakers include Emily Program staff, former clients, and community members. Recovery Night is free and open to the public; anyone is invited to attend, including clients, support people, and the community. We know healing is not an easy journey but you can find hope here. Find the Recovery Night schedule below.

    Minnesota

    MINNESOTA

    St. Paul - Como (6:30pm CT):

    2265 Como Ave.
    St. Paul, MN 55108

    Upcoming dates: None currently scheduled

    St. Paul Adolescent & Young Adult - Toogood (6pm CT):

    2230 Como Ave.
    St. Paul, MN 55108

    Upcoming dates: None currently scheduled

    Washington

    WASHINGTON

    Seattle (6–7:30pm PT):

    1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
    Seattle, WA 98109  

    Upcoming dates: None currently scheduled

    Share your recovery story

    Your experience on the path to recovery can inspire others and affirm that there is hope. If you are willing to share your recovery story in a genuine and honest way, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

    St. Paul (Como), MN

    Molly McCann
    1-888-364-5977 ext. 1166

    Seattle, WA

    Kristen Myers
    1-888-364-5977 ext. 1806

    ED 101: Understanding Eating Disorders, Treatment, and Recovery

    We know how overwhelming an eating disorder diagnosis can be for families and friends. The terminology. The process. The uncertainties. Share an evening with us to learn about eating disorders, our personalized treatment programs, and the path to recovery. Our knowledgeable staff at The Emily Program answer common concerns of families and friends facing eating disorder issues for the first time. You’ll leave with valuable resources and a better understanding of this serious mental health issue. We recommend family and friends who are new to eating disorders attend this session at least once before joining a Friends and Family Session for a better experience in the group.

    Virtual Event: Eating Disorders 101, Hosted by Hannah Kirby MS, RD, CD, Dietitian at our Seattle outpatient location: 2nd Thursday of the month, 6–7pm PT.

    Upcoming dates: Oct. 13th, Nov. 10th, Dec. 8th. Join us via Zoom

    Friends and Family Sessions

    The Emily Program offers free evening Friends and Family Sessions open to the public. No need to register; just drop in. (Please note: This group is intended for family and friends providing support to loved ones with an eating disorder. If you are a client or potential client, please attend our ED 101 or Recovery Night events if you would like to learn more.)

    Virtual Event: Friends and Family Session, Hosted by Melissa Harmon, MA, LMHC, Clinical Manager at our Seattle outpatient location: 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 6–7pm PT.

    Upcoming dates: Oct. 6th, Nov. 3rd, Dec. 1st. Join us via Zoom

    And: Sept. 15th, Oct. 20th, Nov. 17th, Dec. 15th. Join us via Zoom

    "Emily Program Experts" Recovery Series

    These community-based discussions around recovery are led by Emily Program clinicians.

    wa city skyline

    WASHINGTON

    Seattle (6–7:30pm PT):

    1700 Westlake Avenue North, Suite 700
    Seattle, WA 98109  

    Upcoming dates: 
    October 19th: Join us via Zoom

    January 24th: Join us via Zoom

    April 19th: Join us via Zoom

    "Ask an Expert" Live

    Join us on social media for "Ask an Expert" live. Dr. Jillian Lampert answers common questions about eating disorders, treatment, and recovery from our social media followers.

    Ask an Expert Facebook live: Friday, September 9th, 9am PT, 11am CT, 12pm ET. 

    Ask an Expert Instagram live: Tuesday, November 8th, 11:30am PT, 1:30pm CT, 2:30pm ET. 

    Read more

    Organizations

    Organizations


    F.E.A.S.T

    www.feast-ed.org

    F.E.A.S.T. is an international organization of and for parents and caregivers to help loved ones recover from eating disorders by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders.


    Maudsley Parents

    www.maudsleyparents.org

    This website is a nonprofit organization for parents trying to help their children heal from anorexia and bulimia through the use of the Maudsley (FBT) approach. This site is a great resource for learning about Maudsley concepts, processing some of your experiences and providing you with a link to other Maudsley resources.


    Eating Disorders Coalition

    www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org

    This website is a compilation of professional organizations that are dedicated to research, policy and action in order to advocate on a federal level for people with eating disorders and their families.


    NEDA

    https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

    An organization dedicated to education, resources, and support to those affected by eating disorders and has a wide variety of eating disorder resources and educational handouts.


     

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