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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!

Stages of Recovery

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Eating disorder recovery is a complex process that typically requires each client to progress through five stages. To have a diagnosis of an eating disorder implies that an individual’s life will experience significant, disruptive changes and a need for treatment over a period of time. Treatment for eating disorders usually improves and speeds recovery, however, someone who carries an eating disorder diagnosis should expect there to be a significant amount of time and several stages as they move towards recovery.

It is important to reiterate that these stages are general and each individual’s experience will be unique, but there are some common experiences and needs we see across individuals recovering from eating disorders. 

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Stephanie’s Recovery Story

Stephanie Maiwurm, a former Emily Program client, shares her story of recovery and healing.

Stephanie attended the Emily Program in 2010 and 2011 and she is grateful she was exposed to ways of eating normally, working out normally, and having balance in her life. Today, Stephanie says she no longer associates her wellbeing, love, and care for herself based on what her body looks like. She chooses to honor herself, her physical body, and her spiritual and energetic body.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, we hope Stephanie’s story finds you. By having the courage to reach out and get support, eating disorder recovery is possible. At The Emily Program, we create personalized treatment plans and walk alongside you during your recovery journey. If you are ready to make a change, you can call us at 1-888-364-5977 or complete our online form.

Watch Stephanie’s full recovery story below.

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Why Eating Disorders are Serious

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Eating disorders are biologically based mental illnesses that are influenced by an individual’s environment, society, and psychological makeup. An eating disorder is an illness that causes an individual to experience disturbances in their eating habits and negative food or body-related thoughts and feelings. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recognizes four kinds of eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia is characterized by extended and extreme food restriction and malnourishment that causes dramatic and sustained weight loss. Anorexia often presents with a fear of gaining weight and other body image issues.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). ARFID is a feeding or eating disorder typically driven by fear, a lack of interest in food, or an avoidance of certain foods, resulting in continued failure to meet an individual’s nutritional needs. ARFID often presents without a drive for thinness.

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A Recovery Story

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**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, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

Heather Coulter is a full-time mother of two who works in her spare time to spread awareness and understanding around eating disorders and disordered eating habits.  Heather has a passion for advocacy and is part of several local grassroots advocacy groups and has served on local NAMI committees. Heather hopes her story will remind those who are struggling that it’s okay to ask for help and that the topic of vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.   

Hi my  name is ED Hi, my name is Heather and my eating disorder no longer defines me thanks to The Emily Program. It took 26 years, 10 months and 1 day for me to recognize that my life, body, and soul deserved more and that I matter. On April 14th, 2015 I sat in the Anna Westin House parking lot staring at the doors in fear of the future. I was ashamed, scared, guilty, skeptical and felt unworthy of the path ahead. The day I walked into that house changed my life forever and for that, I am eternally grateful.

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