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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!

Am I “Sick Enough” for Eating Disorder Treatment?

A woman looks at her reflection in a wall mirror

People with eating disorders will often ask themselves, “Am I sick enough to deserve treatment?” There is something dangerous buried in this question—something that implies eating disorder behaviors are not serious or that people with eating disorders are not deserving of care until a certain point. It suggests that you need to be sicker than you are in order to “truly” have an eating disorder. None of this is true.

Unfortunately, this type of thinking comes easily in a society that is obsessed with dieting, weight, and body shape and size. It is common in a culture like ours, which encourages people to restrict food and view other eating disorder behaviors as “ok” or “not a big deal.” Moreover, if you do have an eating disorder, you likely have a high level of judgment about what you should and should not be doing related to food and body. These thoughts, combined with the pressures of our social reality, can make it easy to wonder whether you have an eating disorder and delay your decision to seek help.

The truth is this: If you think you have an eating disorder, the odds are likely that you do. And if you do, there isn’t a line at which you are “sick enough.”

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Staff Spotlight, Brittany Davis

Brittany Davis

TEP: Tell us about yourself!

Brittany: I am the Site Director at the Cleveland outpatient site. Prior to accepting this role in October of 2018, I was the Program Coordinator for our Adolescent Intensive Programming for about 9 years. I will always have a special place in my heart for adolescent treatment and the family-based treatment model. I started at The Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders as a student in 2009 and have enjoyed watching our organization grow tremendously since that time.

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Out with the Old: Revolutionizing Resolutions

City scene with fireworks at night

Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat “healthy.”

These resolutions seem as synonymous with the New Year as the midnight ball drop and fireworks display. Amid popping corks and clinking glasses, we hear the same tired promises each turn of the calendar year, as if they’re verses in “Auld Lang Syne” themselves.

As New Year’s marks the passage of time, so too it shows our sociocultural pressures and values. In the most popular resolutions, we see society’s expectations—the “goods” and goals worth pursuing in the name of personal betterment.

In a culture preoccupied with weight and food, it is no surprise that New Year’s resolutions frequently reflect these obsessions. Striving to lose weight—arguably the most popular resolution each year—is to affirm our cultural fixation on thinness and view of weight loss as a universal good. And while exercise and eating patterns can indeed influence health, many resolve to make these changes with the primary or sole goal of losing weight. Weight is mistaken as a proxy for health.

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Running Free Now: Living Authentically in Eating Disorder Recovery

Emily Sigrist, Photo by Kendra K Photo / kenrdakphoto.com.

Photo by Kendra K Photo / kenrdakphoto.com

**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.

Emily Sigrist is a graduate student in Seattle, Washington, pursuing her Master’s in Counseling Psychology. She is a psychotherapist in training focusing her work on the need for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding, healing, and preventing eating disorders. She hosts a podcast called Get Together, writes music with her partner, and shares words on emilykei.com and @emily.sigrist.

When I was in middle school, I started running, and then, I couldn’t stop. What began as my first exercise routine quickly turned into an eating disorder that would follow me for nearly a decade.

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