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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!

How do I Provide Comfort for my Child in Treatment?

Mother and daughter

Starting eating disorder treatment can be scary for the individual affected—but it can also be a stressful time for parents. When your child experiences a negative food/body relationship, you may struggle to understand why. Their behaviors may seem perplexing and leave you feeling frustrated, afraid, and sad. The Emily Program understands that it’s difficult to watch someone you love struggle with an eating disorder. It’s also difficult to know how to comfort them.

What Will Happen When My Child Starts Treatment?

Eating disorder treatment is a new experience, and like all new things, it can be scary at first. Prior to starting treatment, your child’s eating disorder behaviors may increase due to the stress and fear of starting treatment and confronting the eating disorder. Your child may experience dread, anger, anxiety, or depression. They may also experience relief upon knowing that they are on the road to recovery. All of these feelings are normal. 

For parents, it’s important to be aware and present in the days or weeks before treatment. Make sure to check in with your child about how they are feeling or if they could use any specific support. Reassure them that treatment is a good idea because it will help them to live their best life. Be vocal about your support and be present when they share with you.

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Episode 17: Abbie’s Recovery Story

Girl overlooking the beach

Episode description:

Peace Meal’s Recovery Series aims to share stories of those in eating disorder recovery in hopes of starting conversations, breaking stigmas, and encouraging healing. On today’s episode, we talk to Abbie Scott. Abbie suffered from an eating disorder during her youth, continued on to pursue recovery, and now helps others who have struggled in her career as a registered dietitian.

Episode show notes:

Abbie Scott is a Registered Dietitian at The Emily Program’s Anna Westin House in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is passionate about eating disorder prevention, yoga, and helping others develop positive food-body relationships. In addition, Abbie holds her 200-hour registered yoga teacher certification and has completed multiple trainings on the intersection of yoga, food, and body image.

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The Sticks and Stones of Eating Disorder Recovery

Rock stack

*By Lisa Whalen

*Some guest blogs may mention eating disorder behaviors or thoughts. Keep in mind that everyone has a unique road to recovery and that this is one person’s story.

“I didn’t know you had an eating disorder,” a coworker I’ll call Jane said when she learned that I’d written a book about my recovery. “You don’t look like you do. I’ve always thought you look… normal.”

Ouch.

Before I completed treatment at The Emily Program, Jane’s comment would have boomed in my head and created an echo that followed me everywhere. It also would have sent me careening back into the starvation and compulsive exercise that had hijacked my 20s due to my need to be anything but normal. Back then, I’d equated “normal” with “average” and was terrified of being average. Who will love, respect, or want me if I’m just average? I’d wondered. So I’d wanted to be much more than average: I’d wanted to be perfect. Being perfect had included being thin, tiny, and delicate—a butterfly among birds.

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Navigating Campus with an Eating Disorder

School campus

College can be a particularity triggering time when you’re living with an eating disorder, and navigating school with the illness can be incredibly challenging. With school comes freedom, new experiences, homework, stress, group meals, and more. All of these can cause additional strain on recovery, which is why it’s important to be mindful of your recovery. Despite these challenges, there are certain things you can do to prevent relapse and encourage recovery.

How to Successfully Navigate Campus in Recovery

Start Treatment

Living with an untreated eating disorder is extremely dangerous and stressful. Unfortunately, if left untreated, the illnesses often progress over time. Due to their worsening nature, it’s essential to get eating disorder treatment as soon as possible. We know that starting treatment, especially in the midst of school, is extremely challenging. However, some eating disorder treatment centers are able to provide a treatment plan to fit into your life. If you are concerned about the time commitment, know that treatment centers like The Emily Program can work with your schedule to ensure you get the care you deserve. By starting treatment, you can ensure a successful school year where you can focus on school instead of food, body, or image. 

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