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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 is ARFID?

Leek soup

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is characterized by a disturbance in eating or feeding behaviors that results in significant weight loss, nutritional deficiency, or difficulty maintaining a normal day-to-day life. ARFID was previously known as selective eating disorder (SED) but was renamed to more accurately encompass the disorder.

ARFID can affect individuals of any age, race, gender, or any other demographic categorization. ARFID often co-occurs with other mental health diagnoses such as anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Like any other eating disorder, ARFID is not a choice and is considered to be a severe illness that requires professional treatment. It is also important to note that ARFID does not stem from a lack of access to food and is not related to an individual’s cultural upbringing.

What makes ARFID different from anorexia?

ARFID is often confused with anorexia due to the weight loss associated with the illness and the pattern of restrictive eating. However, those suffering from ARFID do not share the same desire for thinness or body dysmorphic thoughts that those with anorexia experience. To note this difference, someone with ARFID may abstain from eating due to tastes and textures of foods being intolerable as opposed to someone with anorexia who may abstain from eating due to a desire to lose weight and alter their body shape.

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Episode 5: Anna’s Recovery Story

Anna Hashizume

Episode description:

This is the first episode in our new Recovery Series. The Recovery Series aims to share stories of those in eating disorder recovery in hopes of starting conversations, breaking stigmas, and encouraging healing. On this episode, host Claire Holtz sits down with Japanese-American singer-actor Anna Hashizume as she shares her story of healing.

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You Don’t Have to Suffer in Secret

Four adults talking

Individuals suffering from eating disorders often hide their struggle from those around them for a variety of reasons, including shame, lack of information, or fear. Eating disorders want individuals to suffer in secret because then the individual can stay sick longer—safe from the intervention of others. Don’t listen to your eating disorder. And don’t suffer in silence. Reach out for support as soon as you start to recognize symptoms—getting an eating disorder treated early and effectively has been shown to result in higher success rates.

Five reasons why you shouldn’t feel shame about having an eating disorder

1. Eating disorders are common.

In the United States alone, 30 million individuals will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime, about 10 million of those people being men. Among teens, eating disorders are the third most common illness and are far more prevalent than breast cancer or HIV. While you may feel like you are the only one struggling with disordered eating, it’s important to know that many people have shared your experience and gone on to achieve full recovery.

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The Harmful Idea of Supermom

Mom reading to children

We’ve all heard the word “supermom,” which typically refers to a mother who can maintain all domestic duties alongside a full-time job or a mother that goes above and beyond in providing for herself and her family. While the idea of a supermom can seem like something to strive for, it’s often an unrealistic ideal that comes with serious consequences.

What is a supermom?

In one article, supermom is defined as a mother who wakes up “bright and early, cooks the kids a nutritious breakfast from scratch, drives them to school, commutes to the office, does errands over lunch, picks up the kids, does chores, and tucks them into bed.” In addition to being the perfect parent and employee, the supermom is also the perfect spouse. She exercises to maintain the “ideal” body, eats well, and is always available to support her partner when needed. While these aren’t necessarily bad traits, it’s nearly impossible for any one person to achieve this standard of living.

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