Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorder Recovery’

Jason Wood

Episode 68: The Dangers of “Clean Eating” with Jason Wood

Episode description: 

Jason Wood combined his therapeutic love of writing with his mission to break the stigma around men’s mental health and eating disorders by launching Orthorexia Bites in 2021. His first book, a memoir titled Starving for Survival, is out now.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Jason discusses how weight-based bullying, the loss of his parents, and a cancer scare all contributed to the development of his eating disorder. He reflects on how the praise he received after weight loss in his early teens led him to believe that diet and exercise were something that made him “good” in the eyes of others. Then, he explains, a cancer scare led him to dieting and “clean eating” in an attempt to prevent cancer—the illness that took both of his parents. Jason experienced weight loss and was once again praised by friends and healthcare providers, suggesting that he was on the right track. In reality, however, an obsession with “clean eating” was consuming his life. Jason wants to share his story so that other men and boys know that they are not alone in their struggle with an eating disorder. 

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New Years Blog

A Non-Diet Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

With 2022 just around the corner, many people are making their New Year’s resolutions. As in years past, many of these resolutions will revolve around diet and weight loss. These diet culture resolutions are incredibly problematic, especially for those struggling with, recovering from, or susceptible to developing an eating disorder. Dieting is a key risk factor for eating disorders and interferes with the process of developing a healthy relationship with food.

If making a New Year’s resolution is something you would like to do, remember to do so with your recovery in mind. In this blog, we have examples of goals unrelated to diet or weight that could get you started when making your own. Some of these suggestions may not be appropriate for everyone; please work with your recovery team or modify the examples to suit your recovery needs.

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A Christmas place setting with a card on the plate that says, "Christmas Menu." as well as a pine branch and three little ornaments

Holiday Dos and Don’ts for Those in Eating Disorder Recovery

The holiday season can be a complicated and difficult time for those in eating disorder recovery. Stress and anxiety can increase with the presence of food and the large amount of time often spent with family members, both immediate and extended. It can also be hard for people to know the best way to support their loved ones in recovery. In order to make this holiday season a little bit more tolerable, we have created a list of dos and don’ts for those in recovery, as well as for the people who support them.

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Hannah Howard

Episode 65: Honoring Your Hunger with Hannah Howard

Episode description: 

Hannah Howard is a writer and food expert who has spent her career in the food industry serving, bartending, cooking on a line, flipping giant wheels of cheese, managing restaurants, and now writing about food. She is the author of two memoirs, Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen and Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family. 

In this episode of Peace Meal, Hannah tells us about her complex relationship with food, describing how she once feared her own appetite. Food had been the center point of her career–her professional passion–and also a source of anxiety as she struggled silently with an eating disorder. Hannah describes how sharing her story in recovery has not only connected her to others with similar experiences, but also allowed food to be a source of joy and passion once again. In addition, she discusses the  “good” and “bad” labels often applied to food and encourages everyone to approach eating with self-compassion and kindness. She reflects on her experiences of pregnancy in recovery, naming how she set boundaries at the doctor’s office and strives to set a good example for her children. Recovery is a process, one Hannah says she is still learning.  

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Betsy Brenner

Episode 64: Healing Has No Age Limit with Betsy Brenner

Episode description: 

Betsy is a long-time tennis coach, retired hospital attorney, and the author of a memoir titled The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Midlife. Her inspiring message is that it is never too late to be a work in progress. Betsy is also an eating disorder recovery speaker, advocate, and peer support mentor who shows that it is possible to heal from past trauma and become healthier in body, mind, and spirit.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Betsy discusses how she was taught to suppress her emotions growing up, how dealing with her trauma was the only way to recover from her eating disorder, and how you’re never too old to start healing. She tells us how the food she consumed as a child was completely controlled by her mother, and how that prevented her from learning how to eat intuitively. She also covers the combination of events that led to her developing an eating disorder in midlife. Betsy shares that telling her story in her memoir lifted the weight of her trauma and made her feel empowered and free. She emphasizes that you can recover, as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and deal with the trauma you’ve experienced.

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Lucie Waldman

Episode 62: Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community with Lucie Waldman

Episode description: 

Lucie Waldman is the author of The Jots of Becoming, a book that features insights about recovering from anorexia and includes multiple Jewish excerpts. Lucie also runs an eating disorder recovery awareness and support account on Instagram, enjoys speaking for multiple platforms about the intersection between Judaism and mental health, and is deeply passionate about mental health, eating disorder recovery, and equity in the treatment setting.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Lucie discusses how Jewish culture and religion should be considered in eating disorder treatment, how sharing your recovery story can be beneficial, and how small steps in recovery add up to a longer and stronger recovery. Reflecting on her own experience, Lucie shares that she had trouble finding recovery content that resonated with her, so she decided to turn her story into such a resource for others. Among the messages she wanted to share is that not everyone has a “magic moment” where they feel ready to start eating disorder treatment. What’s more important, she says, is being willing to take small steps toward recovery. Lucie also examines the complex relationship between Judaism and her eating disorder recovery, underscoring the need to take into account intergenerational trauma and other cultural considerations during treatment. She concludes the episode by telling anyone struggling that every time they defy their eating disorder, it adds up to a longer and stronger recovery. 

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Clothes shopping in a larger body

The Challenges of Clothes Shopping in a Larger Body

Clothes shopping in eating disorder recovery is tough. Eating disorders are frequently accompanied by negative body image, including general body dissatisfaction, body image distortion, overvaluation of weight and shape, excessive body comparisons, and body checking behaviors. The negative body image that is often paired with eating disorders can naturally make clothes shopping difficult. The challenges of shopping can be compounded for those shopping for clothes labeled as “plus-size” by the fashion industry, as our society is often not as accommodating to people in larger bodies.

Although there are many people in larger bodies who are on a journey to body acceptance, not everyone is at the same point in their journey and very few journeys are a straight line. Therefore, shopping in a culture with weight bias and stigma is not always an easy task, no matter how far you’ve come in your recovery journey. One step toward embracing body acceptance is to be aware of the challenges of clothes shopping in recovery and to identify strategies for navigating the task.

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Kathryn

Episode 59: Choosing Recovery with Kathryn

Episode description: 

​​Kathryn is a 31-year-old woman who enjoys cooking, hosting friends, teaching music, and getting lost in nature. Best known for her big heart and passion for life, she lives in a larger body and advocates for people to take up more space. Kathryn joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share her eating disorder story, including how living in a larger body has impacted her recovery. 

For over 20 years, food was the center of Kathryn’s life. She kept trying to figure out what was happening on her own, blaming herself for her struggles. After talking with the people closest to her, she decided to seek help even though she didn’t have a lot of hope that anything would work. 

As soon as Kathryn reached out for help, however, she says it felt like a “warm hug.” In speaking with an eating disorder specialist, she discovered that she did, in fact, have an illness. It was not her fault. While she experienced many barriers throughout her recovery living in a larger body, she grew to learn that all food is good food and that you should take up as much space as you need. With the support of her treatment team, friends, and family, she learned how to take care of herself, live as the most authentic version of herself, and make sure all her needs are met.

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Kesslee

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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Jaeden Luke & Kianna Garmanian

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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Katie Whipple

Episode 67: Pursuing Your Joy with Katie Whipple

Katie Whipple is a Certified Public Accountant who co-led a $7 billion business deal as the youngest and only female on her team. After moving from New York to Indiana, she now participates in community involvement through Junior Achievement, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and her own podcast “Cup of Common Grounds.” Five years into her recovery, and after a seven-year hiatus, Katie decided to return to pageantry and will be competing for Miss Indiana USA in April.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Katie explores the factors that led to the development and worsening of her eating disorder, as well as those that now keep her strong in recovery. As a home-schooled Christian who grew up in purity culture, she says she was unaccustomed to the cultural and social pressures she encountered at college. The dramatic transition triggered her eating concerns, as well as a feeling that she was living a double life: a high achiever confidently facing business partners and pageantry judges in public but struggling in private. In recovery, Katie has learned to find worth beyond her appearance and better name her emotions, a skill that has deepened her relationships with family and friends. She has also been able to reignite a passion that provided self-confidence and self-development when she was younger, pageantry. Acknowledging that pageantry can be a significant trigger for those with eating disorders, Katie shares how she protects her recovery while doing what she loves. 

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A red plate sits on a table with hot cider and gingerbread cookies. Christmas decorations surround the plate,

Episode 66: A Compilation of Advice for Those Doubting Recovery

Episode description: 

In this special holiday episode, we have compiled some powerful insights on recovery from several of our 2021 guests who have experienced it themselves. Throughout the year, we asked our podcast guests with a personal eating disorder story this question: “What would you tell someone listening who believes recovery isn’t possible for them?” This episode features some of the answers we received in response. 

Many of our guests share how they once thought that recovery wasn’t possible for them as well, but every little step they made toward healing was so important. While acknowledging how challenging recovery can be, they also emphasize how much better it is than having an eating disorder. If you are experiencing or recovering from an eating disorder yourself, we hope that this episode leaves you with some hope and wisdom on your path to healing. 

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Holiday gifts

Hope for the Holidays

Nearly two years into the pandemic, we continue to feel its deep impact on our lives. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, the way we work, and the way we spend our time. It has taken 750,000 lives from us and impacted the physical and mental health of countless more.

This holiday season, Mark Warren, MD, MPH, FAED, Chief Medical Officer of Veritas Collaborative, joins us to reflect on the continued impact of COVID on those with eating disorders and look forward to a year of hope and better health.

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A woman holding her hands over her heart in gratitude.

Self-Care During the Holiday Season

During the holiday season, it can be easy to get wrapped up in festivities and family. Thanksgiving can be especially stressful for those struggling with an eating disorder because most households celebrate with food. Having to navigate this food-centric holiday with an eating disorder just adds to the chaos often experienced around this time. This blog aims to keep you mindful of yourself and your recovery during the holidays ahead.

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A table set for Thanksgiving decorated with pumpkins, leaves, and pinecones

Tips for Navigating the Holiday Season in Recovery

With the abundance of food, having to eat in front of others, and navigating difficult familial relationships, the holiday season can be immensely difficult for anyone living or recovering from an eating disorder. This year’s holiday season presents new challenges, as it is possible that you have not seen your family members for a longer period of time than usual. After what was another emotional and isolating year for many, our bodies may feel or be different for a variety of reasons, including major changes in lifestyle, as well as anxiety. 

According to Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Certified Dietitian Hilmar Wagner, there are four key aspects of successfully surviving the holiday season while in eating disorder recovery. His method for a successful holiday is called P.R.E.P., and we will delve into each step of preparation he has outlined in our article below.

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Kelsey Fenimore

Episode 61: The Intersection of Faith and Mental Health with Kelsey

Episode description: 

Kelsey is a pediatric registered nurse working on her master’s degree in psychiatric nursing. In this episode of Peace Meal, she shares her eating disorder and recovery story, including the impact of her faith and her college environment on her experiences of illness and recovery. 

Though Kelsey had seen many medical providers growing up, she says her relationship with food long went unquestioned. She had concerns about her eating but struggled in silence for years. She didn’t yet have the language to name her disordered eating, often describing her anxiety and stress more generally instead. She faced barriers getting help in college—a stressful environment already—but only found lasting support after an interaction at church. A person of faith, Kelsey turned to her pastor, who told her that her illness required professional support. Prayers alone would not heal her. After being connected with new resources, she says she became honest with her secrets with her family and made a “no more lying” rule with her parents. Her sister and niece were also strong motivations to help her recover and to model and practice body positivity. Kelsey leaves us with insight and hope for college students, people of faith, or anyone struggling with an eating disorder. 

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Dr. Laura Hill

Episode 60: Temperament-Based Therapy with Supports (TBT-S) with Dr. Laura Hill

Episode description:

Dr. Laura Hill is an international eating disorder consultant focusing on brain-based eating disorder treatment approaches. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of California, San Diego. She is one of the original founders of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the Director of the organization now known as NEDA from 1990 to 1994. In addition, Dr. Hill is the founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Balanced Living.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Dr. Hill introduces an emerging brain-based treatment called Temperament-Based Therapy with Supports (TBT-S). TBT-S helps people with eating disorders understand their unique temperament so that they can use it as a tool for recovery. Distinguishing between traits and symptoms, Dr. Hill explains that temperament includes traits like impulsivity, introversion, and determination, while symptoms include eating disorder behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. She emphasizes that temperament traits are neither good nor bad; what’s important is how they are applied. TBT-S helps people with eating disorders and their support people use their traits more productively to aid in recovery. Dr. Hill also talks about the importance of support in treatment and recovery. In the end, she addresses how providers can use TBT-S to complement other treatment approaches. 

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Shikha Advani

Episode 58: Advancing Eating Disorders Education with Shikha Advani

Episode description:

Shikha Advani is an incoming master’s student and dietetic intern at Boston University who is passionate about eating disorders awareness, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nutrition and eating disorder fields. As a teenager, Shikha battled anorexia and orthorexia. She hopes her story can help others with eating disorders, no matter where they are in their recovery process.

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Christie Dondero Bettwy

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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Reading a book

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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