Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorder Recovery’

Keep Climbing

Robby Swenson

**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.

“Whenever life gets you down / You’ve gotta get up off the ground / and you’re gonna keep climbing up.”

Hi, I’m Robby Swenson, and you just read the ending lyric to my new full-length studio album Anorexia, available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and all other streaming services. But more to come on that later.

About a year and a half ago, I was battling an agonizing battle against anorexia. My days were filled with hatred, guilt, and judgment, and I didn’t see a path out of my situation. However, I was so blessed to have a great support system around me, and today I can say that I am no longer afraid to nourish my body both physically and mentally.

Let’s be 100% honest with ourselves and the world around us: Body image issues are such a real problem for so many people. I think that I lost sight of this fact when I was going through my battle with anorexia. And it completely makes sense how I could do so. In a society where talking about your struggles is taboo, it is easy to turn inward and shield your emotions from those around you who love and care for you. 

That’s why I think we need to “stand up strong and climb the bars” that are holding us back from being the people we are destined to be. The only way we can prosper as human beings is to surround ourselves with love.

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Episode 45: An Eating Disorder’s Impact on Siblings with Jaeden Luke & Kianna Garmanian

Jaeden Luke & Kianna Garmanian

Episode description:

Jaeden Luke is a singer-songwriter who wrote the single “Beautiful” for his older sister Kianna, who experienced and fully recovered from an eating disorder. Kianna is a graduate of St. Martin’s University, a young adult group ministry leader, and the author of a forthcoming book about her healing journey, The Cross That Set Me Free.

Jaeden and Kianna join us in this Peace Meal episode to explore the sibling experience of eating disorders. The brother and sister pair recall how Kianna’s eating disorder impacted their relationship as well as how their relationship—and “Beautiful”—helped her heal.

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5 Languages of Eating Disorder Support

A back view of two people hugging

The support of family and friends is key to the process of eating disorder recovery. It is an antidote to the isolation and secrecy of the illness, as well as a powerful, necessary reminder to our loved ones that they aren’t alone in their pain and struggle. 

But it can be hard to know just how to support someone affected by eating disorders. These are complicated, confusing conditions that aren’t “fixed” with simple logic. “Just eat,” “just eat less,” or “just stop doing that” are unhelpful suggestions, as are guilt trips and ultimatums.

What else is there to say or do? Considering your loved one’s love language is a place to start.

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Nourishing Self-talk for the New Year

A person holding a bowl of soup in their hands

Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed., is a psychotherapist, international, award-winning author of 8 books, and popular blogger. She has 30-plus years of experience in the field of eating psychology teaching chronic dieters and emotional, binge, and over-eaters to become “normal” eaters through using a non-diet, non-weight focus on eating intuitively and creating joyous, meaningful lives. Her eighth book, Words to Eat By: Using the Power of Self-talk to Transform Your Relationship with Food and Your Body (Turner), is due out January 26, 2021. She lives and practices in Sarasota, Florida. Her website is

It is January 2021, a time when many people are chiding themselves for their holiday food intake and psyching themselves up to change their eating, exercise, and self-care habits. But more often than not, our standard self-talk is so judgmental, punitive, and bullying that it fails to generate sustainable positive change and leaves us frustrated and hopeless before the first quarter of the new year has gone by.

To turn this pattern around, it’s crucial to understand that self-talk is not simply mindless mental chatter but instead a major way we humans have evolved to get our brains to take action. Whether conscious or unconscious, self-talk is what governs our emotions and behavior. That is, the brain interprets whatever we say as a directive to feel or behave in a certain way. It awaits our instructions and then executes them.

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Setbacks, Vulnerability, and Running Again: Carie’s Story, Part 2

Carie Wille

Read the first part of Carie’s story here

**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.

After college, I found myself taking my first professional job hours away from my friends and family in a tiny town. It turns out ED loves isolation. I told myself it was the only job I could find since I didn’t have any experience, but it also turned out to be the perfect haven for ED. I hardly knew anyone. I could go to work, come home, and just spend time with ED for the entire evening, just as he would like it. Then, I would drive the hours back to spend time with friends and family for the weekend and pretend like nothing was wrong. I had a good job. A nice apartment. I was dating someone. Life was good.

Meeting ED Head-On

At some point, my family and a great friend confronted me about my behaviors. It turns out I wasn’t as secret as I thought I was. ED was furious. Furious that they knew. Furious that our little secret was out. Now I was really going to have to actually face these issues I was dealing with. I began my first treatment with a social worker, registered dietitian, and some group work. It opened my eyes to what therapy really involved, and it was truly helpful at the time. Even then, though, I could not truly open up to my family and friends about what I was really feeling, thinking, and doing.

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In Came an Eating Disorder: Carie’s Story, Part 1

Carie Wille

**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.

My name is Carie Wille, and I am a 38-year-old wife and mother of a two-year-old toddler with our second baby due at the end of April. I own my own consulting business and I love staying active, especially running and waterskiing. I am also a sister, daughter, friend, Christian, and a bunch of other descriptive nouns I could continue listing, but we’ll leave it at that!

Although my family and I now live in Traverse City, Michigan, I am originally from Minnesota and spent my entire childhood and most of my adulthood up until last year there. I dealt with an eating disorder on and off since I was about 17 years old, although my disordered thoughts around body image and eating manifested at an earlier age. 

Although I won’t say I’m fully recovered because I still have to watch for those pesky eating disorder thoughts, I do not actively use symptoms and am ready to share my story to potentially help others in their journey toward recovery after having time to look back and reflect on… So. Many. Things. So many aspects of not only my eating disorder journey, but also life after an eating disorder. I have always felt that there was a reason God was sending me through these difficult seasons of my life that centered around disordered eating and body image complexities; I just didn’t know why. Sharing my story through The Emily Program is just a start for me – I feel called beyond this, but I have to start somewhere! By being vulnerable and sharing my story, I hope to help others through what they are dealing with. And, shhhhhh, just letting you in on a little “non-secret” secret: It is helping in my own recovery as well.

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