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October 20, 2021

Episode 62: Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community with Lucie Waldman

Episode 62: Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community with Lucie Waldman

Episode description: 

Lucie Waldman is the author of The Jots of Becoming, a book that features insights about recovering from anorexia and includes multiple Jewish excerpts. Lucie also runs an eating disorder recovery awareness and support account on Instagram, enjoys speaking for multiple platforms about the intersection between Judaism and mental health, and is deeply passionate about mental health, eating disorder recovery, and equity in the treatment setting.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Lucie discusses how Jewish culture and religion should be considered in eating disorder treatment, how sharing your recovery story can be beneficial, and how small steps in recovery add up to a longer and stronger recovery. Reflecting on her own experience, Lucie shares that she had trouble finding recovery content that resonated with her, so she decided to turn her story into such a resource for others. Among the messages she wanted to share is that not everyone has a “magic moment” where they feel ready to start eating disorder treatment. What’s more important, she says, is being willing to take small steps toward recovery. Lucie also examines the complex relationship between Judaism and her eating disorder recovery, underscoring the need to take into account intergenerational trauma and other cultural considerations during treatment. She concludes the episode by telling anyone struggling that every time they defy their eating disorder, it adds up to a longer and stronger recovery. 

We cover:

  • Unhelpful messages to hear in recovery
  • Why refraining from mentioning numbers in eating disorder recovery resources is much better for those in recovery who are consuming the content
  • The importance of considering religion and culture in eating disorder treatment
  • How sharing your eating disorder story can be healing and help others heal
  • Advice to anyone suffering with an eating disorder who thinks that recovery is not possible for them 

In Lucie’s words:

  • On feeling “ready” to start eating disorder treatment: “Having willingness to start recovery is sometimes more important than readiness.”
  • On the importance of personalized eating disorder treatment: “Some of the traditional approaches to family therapy are not as relevant to Jewish clients. There is sort of this aspect of, ‘Oh if a family member is not good for you, you should just cut them out.’ But for me, I never resonated with that because the family unit is something that’s so highly valued.”
  • On the process of recovery: “It might not happen tomorrow or next week, but all the small steps you’re doing towards recovery are adding up. Every meal, every snack, every time you defy the eating disorder once, is adding up to a longer and stronger recovery. It’s a long road, but eventually, through all the work, it does pay off.”

You can find Lucie’s book, The Jots of Becoming: A Journey of Hope and Recovery, on Amazon. You can also follow the nonprofit organization @projectheal, which is mentioned in the episode. 

Learn more about The Emily Program online or by calling 1-888-364-5977.


About the podcast:

Peace Meal is a podcast hosted by The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative that covers topics related to eating disorders, body image, and how society may influence our thinking.

You can find Peace Meal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts. If you enjoy our show, please rate, review, subscribe, and tell your friends!

Are you interested in being a guest on Peace Meal? Email for more information.

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