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Episode 49: Managing Perfectionism with Kesslee

Episode description:

Kesslee is a young professional, part-time coach, wife, and dog mom. She is passionate about serving others to become the best version of themselves and using her journey to help them along the way.

Kesslee joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share how perfectionism manifested during her eating disorder and recovery. She begins by recognizing the challenges of being a Division 1 distance runner. Under pressure to be small and lean for the sport, Kesslee restricted food while training more and more. The core issue, she says, was a belief that she was not enough—not for her coaches and not her parents.

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Episode 48: Finding Freedom in Recovery with Christie Dondero Bettwy

Episode description:

Christie Dondero Bettwy is the Executive Director of Rock Recovery, a nonprofit that uniquely combines clinical and community care to help people overcome disordered eating.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Christie shares with us her personal and professional experience with eating disorders. She first traces her path through illness and healing, highlighting the risk factors that contributed to her disorder as well as the community that helped her find freedom from it. Then she unpacks her decision to enter the eating disorders field–including how and when she knew she was “recovered enough” to translate her personal experience and passion into a career at Rock Recovery. Finally, Christie helps us reflect on the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eating disorders. We discuss how COVID-19 has triggered and exacerbated these illnesses, and how we, as a field, must work collaboratively and creatively to meet the tremendous need for care now and beyond the pandemic.

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Episode 47: Body Image in Adolescents with Charlotte Markey

Episode description: 

Charlotte Markey, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology and Health Sciences at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. She has researched body image and eating behaviors for nearly 25 years, and is the author of The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless.

Charlotte joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss adolescent body image. Offering research and practical insight into the multifaceted topic, she notes that body image encompasses far more than whether we like our bodies. She touches on its various dimensions and implications in the everyday lives of adolescents and teens.

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Episode 46: Redefining Beauty with Melissa Louise Johnson

Episode description: 

Melissa Louise Johnson is a Marriage and Family Therapist, adjunct professor at Bethel University, and the founder of the Impossible Beauty blog and podcast. Through her work at Impossible Beauty, Melissa is on a mission to expand and renew beauty, as she believes the American brand of beauty is divisive, destructive, and far too narrow.

Melissa explores the concept of beauty with us in this episode of Peace Meal. She describes how cultural beauty messages impacted her childhood, adolescence, and the development of her eating disorder, as well as how she recognized and reckoned with these messages in recovery.

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Episode 45: An Eating Disorder’s Impact on Siblings with Jaeden Luke & Kianna Garmanian

Episode description:

Jaeden Luke is a singer-songwriter who wrote the single “Beautiful” for his older sister Kianna, who experienced and fully recovered from an eating disorder. Kianna is a graduate of St. Martin’s University, a young adult group ministry leader, and the author of a forthcoming book about her healing journey, The Cross That Set Me Free.

Jaeden and Kianna join us in this Peace Meal episode to explore the sibling experience of eating disorders. The brother and sister pair recall how Kianna’s eating disorder impacted their relationship as well as how their relationship—and “Beautiful”—helped her heal.

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Episode 44: Recovery as a Journey with Rachel Wilshusen

Episode description:

Rachel Wilshusen is a dynamic writer with liberal arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, University College London, and the University of Cambridge. After an extensive battle with anorexia, she wrote Emancipated Love Junkie: Liberating Myself From Anorexia to embolden others to follow her path toward recovery.

Rachel shares with us her experience of eating disorder recovery in this episode of Peace Meal. She illustrates it as a multi-step, nonlinear journey that began the moment she first reached out for help and continued well into and after her stay at an eating disorder center.

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Episode 43: Giving Voice to Eating Disorder Stories with Kiera Russo

Episode description:

Kiera Russo is a student at The University of Notre Dame, studying Film, Television, and Theatre. An eating disorder survivor, she hosts the podcast Heavier Than I Look, which aims to empower other survivors, educate listeners, and foster conversation surrounding eating disorders. By finding meaning in her own suffering, Kiera hopes to fight against the silence that eating disorders demand and to liberate others from the same demand.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Kiera shares with us her eating disorder and recovery story. She traces the beginning of her illness to the time following eighth grade. During this period of transition, stress, and anxiety, Kiera started running to prepare for her school’s track team. But, she says, “it easily and quickly turned into…a mechanism for me to control not only how many calories I would allow myself that day, but also how much weight I could possibly lose.”

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

Note: Since the recording of this episode, our guest has changed his name and pronouns to Dev, he/him. We respect and affirm that gender identity can continue to evolve over time. At the guest’s request, the original audio will remain unchanged to reflect the conversation as it occurred. We are pleased to update this blog to honor Dev’s current identity.

Episode description:

Dev Seacrest, Ph.D. (he/him) 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, Dev speaks to his eating disorder experience as a non-binary person. He shares how negative body image in early childhood morphed into anorexia in adolescence, and how body image continued to be relevant to his gender journey and eating disorder recovery. Crediting karate, self-advocacy, and social connection as important tools in recovering from his anorexia, he reflects on the progress he’s made and offers strategies for others suffering. He also shares 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 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 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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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 in 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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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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