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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 and ask how you can become a contributor!

What to Expect When You’re Expecting in Recovery

Baby in white outfit

Eating disorder recovery can be fragile at times, so it is common to be concerned about if and how your eating disorder may manifest during pregnancy. While pregnancy may trigger eating disorder thoughts about weight, size, shape, or body image concerns, it can also be a time of positive change.

Understanding Eating Disorders during Pregnancy

Many women can become pregnant while in eating disorder recovery. For those who become pregnant while they are suffering from an eating disorder, it is incredibly important to receive proper medical care for both your eating disorder and pregnancy as soon as possible. This care often involves the close support of an OB/GYN alongside an eating disorder specialist. Oftentimes, eating disorders can place pregnant women at a high risk for medical complications during pregnancy—especially if the eating disorder remains unaddressed. However, with proper care and support during pregnancy, it is possible to experience a healthy pregnancy and eating disorder recovery.

Eating disorders may manifest differently in pregnant individuals but they often align with warning signs and symptoms for those who are not pregnant. These signs include:

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Episode 10: Binge Eating Disorder and Weight Bias

Health At Every Size Book

Episode description:

Weight bias is the negative attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, and judgments toward individuals because of their weight. Abbie Scott and Maggie Meyers of The Emily Program join Peace Meal to discuss the reality of weight stigma in relation to individuals with binge eating disorder (BED)—and what we can do to break the stigma and better help individuals who are struggling with BED.

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Betsy’s Journey

Betsy Guest Blog Photo

*This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts or behaviors. Please use your discretion and speak with your support system as needed.

Betsy Brenner is a lawyer, married mother of three, tennis coach, and bereavement group leader and in Barrington, Rhode Island. She is passionate about her role as a recovery speaker and has shared her story at treatment centers in the Boston area. Betsy co-leads an eating disorder support group and mentors women who are struggling with mid-life eating disorders.

There are many factors that propelled me into a full-blown eating disorder in my mid-forties.  The first significant event was my parents’ divorce when I was 7 years old.  It shattered the innocence of my early childhood and began years of internalizing any and all difficult emotions.  My Mom continued as if nothing had happened.  I had no opportunity to talk about the divorce or its impact, no place for tears, sadness or anger, no place for feelings of any kind.

There is no doubt that my Mom loved me and I am very grateful for many happy childhood memories, but her suppressed emotions and undiagnosed mental health issues made her moody, rigid, and controlling.  Even with food, she controlled what I ate, when I ate and how much I ate.  I never learned intuitive eating.

I grew up feeling that the only way to make my Mom happy was to achieve success in the classroom and on the tennis court.  I felt so much pressure to meet her expectations of perfection so that she would be proud of me.  There was no place for questioning her ways or expressing my own needs and emotions.  While my tennis success was an important source of self-esteem, the tennis court became my sanctuary, my escape from the emotions inside I was unable to express.

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Staff Spotlight, Caleb Kaihoi

Caleb Kaihoi Staff Spotlight

TEP: Tell us about yourself!

Caleb: I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Site Director at the St. Paul, Como Avenue location, which is an adult outpatient clinic. I have been at the Como location for almost a year and I previously was the Site Director at the Anna Westin House for Adolescents and Young Adults for two years. Prior to that, I was a Therapist at the Anna Westin house for two years. Outside of work, I spend my time with my wife and two daughters. I like to spend time outside playing with the girls, golfing, or working on outdoor projects. Other interests include listening to music, completing house projects, spending time with family and watching sports, especially Gophers basketball, volleyball, and the Minnesota Twins.

TEP: Why did you choose to work for The Emily Program?

Caleb: I chose to work for the Emily Program because I wanted to join an organization that strives to be the best at what they do, in this case, the best at treating eating disorders. I believe strongly in the mission of The Emily Program and the values that it upholds. I feel very fortunate to work with amazing colleagues and fantastic clients.

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