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Through advocacy work, community and professional events, and media outreach, Veritas is helping to bring cutting-edge research, best-practice care, and scientifically backed information into the national eating disorder conversation. Here in our blog you can learn about the work we and others are doing to advance the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. You’ll also find interesting articles and helpful insights that can support you or a loved one on the journey to lasting recovery.

Navigating the Holidays and Eating Disorder Recovery in 2020

By Elisha Contner Wilkins

Navigating the holiday season can create challenges for individuals struggling with or recovering from an eating disorder. It’s completely normal for individuals to face obstacles during the holiday season, but ongoing support can make all the difference in maintaining their eating disorder recovery.

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Veritas Gratitude Series | Episode 1 [Video]

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Episode 40: Faith-Based Recovery with Brittany Braswell

Episode description:

Brittany Braswell is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) who runs a virtual private practice for those struggling with food and body image concerns. In both individual and group settings, she helps clients reduce their anxiety and disordered behaviors so that they can achieve lasting freedom from the bondage of their eating disorders.

Brittany joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to explore recovery from a faith-based perspective. For many, she explains, faith is a belief system more powerful than an eating disorder, one in which people can trust when distancing themselves from their illness.

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Episode 39: Overcoming Anorexia, Bullying, and Recovery Obstacles with Maddy Kit

Episode description:

Maddy Kit is a woman in recovery who is writing a book about her experiences with anorexia and other obstacles. She hopes to share her story with the world to help anyone going through something similar. 

Maddy joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share her recovery story. She tells us first about developing anorexia at nine years old and the barriers to care she experienced at this young age. She then reflects on how her eating disorder evolved in the context of bullying and isolation, as well as a severely traumatic event in high school.

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Episode 37: Binge Eating Disorder and Anorexia as Long-Kept Secrets with Susan Burton

Episode description:

Susan Burton is an editor at the public radio program This American Life and a former editor of Harper’s. Her radio documentaries have won numerous awards, and her writing has appeared in Slate, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and others. Susan’s debut book, Empty: A Memoir, is out now from Random House.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Susan tells us about Empty, a personal story of her eating disorders long kept hidden. In describing her experience with binge eating disorder (BED) and anorexia, she poignantly recounts how the illnesses felt both destructive and protective, both safe and stifling. They functioned in part, she says, as ways to cope with longing and a deep desire for human connection. Understanding now that BED and anorexia were equally harmful and isolating, Susan shares myriad lessons from the perspective of someone still recovering. In this liminal space of recovery, she continues to learn how to sit with discomfort, balance emotional highs and lows, and practice self-compassion with the help of therapy and family support.

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Episode 35: Binge Eating Disorder at Midlife with Teresa Schmitz

Episode description:

Teresa Schmitz is the powerhouse coach behind mybestselfyet.com, a website and blog recently launched to help others define and become their best selves. She discovered her own best self while in recovery from a midlife eating disorder.

Teresa joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share her eating disorder experience, including the personal, professional, and age-related factors that complicated her relationship with food. She tells us how providers have focused on weight throughout her life, encouraging various diets and appetite suppressants with the sole aim of weight loss. Then, Teresa says, a diagnosis of binge eating disorder finally connected her to meaningful care and community support. Eating disorder recovery has helped her redefine her relationship with food and her body, nurture her sense of self outside of career accolades, and restore her physical, emotional, and mental health.

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Episode 33: Midlife Eating Disorders with Heidi Dalzell

Episode description:

Dr. Heidi Dalzell is a licensed clinical psychologist in the greater Philadelphia area with 25 years of therapy experience. She specializes in treating eating disorders and body image concerns, especially in women at midlife.

Heidi joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss midlife eating disorders. She explores the cultural, biological, and life-stage factors that make women susceptible to eating disorders at this point in life. Among them are societal appearance ideals of thinness and youthfulness, aging-related weight and shape changes, and changes in relationship roles and dynamics. Heidi explains the unique barriers midlife women face in seeking care, including shame, stigma, and lack of access to age-appropriate treatment, and then identifies how we can better serve this population. Emphasizing that recovery is possible, she encourages anyone struggling with an eating disorder to reach out for help.

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Episode 32: Sharing Your Story for Eating Disorder Advocacy with Johanna Kandel

Episode description:

Johanna Kandel is the Founder and CEO of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, a national non-profit dedicated to eating disorders outreach, education, early intervention, and advocacy. Having recovered from an eating disorder herself, she is a passionate and prominent advocate for mental health and eating disorders legislation.

In the last of our three-part series on eating disorder advocacy and policy, Johanna joins us to talk about the personal experience of advocacy. First she opens up about her own eating disorder, recovery, and journey to advocacy. She then describes how her closeness to the issue has fueled and challenged her advocacy efforts, how her professional and personal motivation has evolved over time, and how she focuses on opportunity instead of cynicism. Underscoring the importance of personal voices and lived experiences, she concludes by encouraging others to get involved.

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Voices of Veritas: Helping Alumni and Families Find Lasting Recovery

Our 2020 Voices of Veritas series brings the thought leaders and subject matter experts at Veritas Collaborative to the forefront of the conversation about eating disorders. Together, these perspectives further our vision of a world where all persons with eating disorders and their families can access best-practice care and hold hope for a cure. 

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Episode 30: The Basics of Eating Disorder Lawmaking with Katrina Velasquez

Episode description:

Attorney Katrina Velasquez is the Founder and Managing Principal of Center Road Solutions, a public policy firm that works with the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action (EDC) to advance eating disorders as a public health priority on Capitol Hill.

Katrina takes us through the federal legislative process in this episode of Peace Meal. She outlines how ideas are introduced as bills, discussed and amended by committees, and ultimately voted on to become laws. Describing the influence of politics, timing, and leadership, she shows how the process can be lengthy and involved. Citizen participation, however, is vital and not as intimidating as it may seem.

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Episode 42: Phototherapy as a Healing Technique with Shauna Frisbie

Episode description:

Dr. Shauna Frisbie is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an approved Supervisor for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC-S), a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS), and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She has taught psychology, family studies, and counseling since 2001 and is currently a Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lubbock Christian University.

Shauna joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss the value of sharing and discussing visual content in therapy. Her phototherapy techniques are described in her 2020 book, A Therapist’s Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age.

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Episode 41: Beyond Quasi-Recovery with Miranda Snyder

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. This episode includes mention of sexual assault. Please use your discretion when listening and speak with your support system as needed.

Episode description:

Miranda Snyder is a student in the Honors College at the University of Maine, where she is studying to be a high school ELA teacher. A strong proponent of storytelling-based advocacy, her past and current advocacy efforts emphasize the power of lived experience.

The power of Miranda’s lived experience is on full display in this episode of Peace Meal. She shares with us her eating disorder story, charting it from illness to “quasi-recovery” to full recovery.

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Episode 21: Eating Disorders and the Holidays

Episode description:

Kezia Reeder is a former Emily Program client and staff member and a continual advocate for eating disorder recovery. In this episode of Peace Meal, she joins host Dr. Jillian Lampert to describe her holidays with an eating disorder.

“I feel like I was constantly stressed from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve,” Kezia says. “It’s supposed to be a time of celebration and… in the United States, a lot of our celebration centers around gathering for a meal.”

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Episode 38: Boxing, Weight Cutting, and Eating Disorder Recovery with Mark Schindler

Episode description:

Mark Schindler is an NBA writer and podcaster for SB Nation and his co-created site, Premium Hoops.

Mark joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on his eating disorder experience, particularly as it relates to his pursuit of a professional boxing career. His food and body image concerns manifested in the sport and contributed to an eating disorder that extended far beyond it. Sharing how his illness compromised both his physical and mental well-being, Mark warns of the dangers of weight-cutting and offers a definition of health that encompasses more than appearance. Strewn throughout the episode are meaningful words of advice and comfort for those considering recovery.

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Episode 36: Eating Disorder Recovery as a Non-Binary Person with Debbie Seacrest

Episode description:

Debbie Seacrest, Ph.D. is a non-binary math professor who is passionate about advocating for mental health and showing that eating disorders affect a variety of people.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Debbie speaks to their eating disorder experience as a non-binary person. They share how negative body image in early childhood morphed into anorexia in adolescence, and how body image continued to be relevant to their gender journey and eating disorder recovery. Crediting karate, self-advocacy, and social connection as important tools in recovering from their anorexia, they reflect on the progress they’ve made and offer strategies for others suffering. They also share how the eating disorder community can be more gender-affirming and competent in the language we use and services we provide—a generous and important contribution given the disproportionate rates of eating disorders among trans and/or non-binary people.

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Episode 34: The Role of Yoga in Eating Disorder Recovery with Lisa Wingårdh

Episode description:

Lisa Wingårdh is a yoga teacher based in Stockholm, Sweden. Fully devoted to helping others reconnect with their body and breath, she is especially passionate about eating disorder recovery given her personal experience with anorexia and bulimia.

In this episode of Peace Meal, we discuss the role of yoga in eating disorder treatment and recovery. Lisa shares her journey to discovering yoga and describes the ways it has nurtured her body, mind, and soul. Speaking from experience and training, she explains the benefits of yoga to those healing from eating disorders as well as reasons people might find the practice intimidating or challenging. She also offers gentle advice for making sure our yoga practice remains self-compassionate and customized to our own needs and lives.

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Veritas Collaborative Names Laura Chaney as Chief Financial Officer

Veritas Collaborative, LLC, a national healthcare system for the treatment of eating disorders, announced the appointment of Laura Chaney as Chief Financial Officer, effective Monday, July 27, 2020.

Chaney has more than two decades of experience as a senior financial executive in the healthcare industry and has been responsible for strategic financial leadership, merger and acquisition support, budgeting, compliance, legal and regulatory affairs, practice management, and hospital relations as a CFO, external consultant, and CEO of her own business.

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Episode 31: The Eating Disorders Coalition with Chase Bannister

Episode description:

Chase Bannister, MDIV, MSW, LCSW, CEDS, is the president of the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action (EDC), the federal advocacy organization that advances the recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Chase describes the EDC and its members, its mission and goals, and how it engages in eating disorders education and advocacy. He emphasizes the importance of community, strategy, and persistence in advocacy, as well as the immense power we have as constituents. He then explains two of the EDC’s current policy efforts, the Nutrition CARE Act and the SERVE Act, and offers easy ways we can get involved.

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Action from the Veritas Collaborative EDI Council

A few weeks ago, our CEO Mike Browder made a commitment to the Veritas family to serve as an agent of positive change within our community and beyond. Since then, our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Council (EDI) has taken first steps toward this effort. The below message was shared with all Veritas Collaborative employees on behalf of the EDI to highlight actions taken by Veritas to promote diversity.

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Serving as Agents for Change

A message from our CEO, Mike Browder, to Veritas team members and communities:

As always, I hope this note finds you and your loved ones safe during this trying time.

Recently our teams have been addressing our country’s racial disparities, apexed with the killing of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests taking place across our country.

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Recovery Starts Here

If you have questions about anything - eating disorders, our programs, specific needs or concerns - or you'd like to schedule an initial phone assessment or a comprehensive in-person medical assessment, please give us a call or complete our contact form. Our Master's-Level Clinicians are here to help.

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