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Posts Tagged “Eating Disorder Recovery”

April 7, 2023

Navigating Resistance: How to Support Families Who Want to Postpone Eating Disorder Treatment

“My patient received a recommendation for a higher level of eating disorder care, but their family wants to hold off until a ‘better time.’ How do I help them understand the risks of waiting?”

Eating disorder clinicians frequently face the challenge of resistance to care. This resistance stems from various factors, such as a fear of the unknown, difficulty acknowledging the severity of the illness, and ambivalence toward the recovery process. The prospect of interrupting life for treatment often only adds to the anxiety.

April 3, 2023

Episode 82: No Longer Settling for “Fine” with Rebecca Amis

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Rebecca Amis shares her story of recovery from a decades-long eating disorder. Rebecca first traces her path through illness and healing, disclosing the risk factors that may have contributed to her anorexia, as well as the intense life transitions and medical issues that prolonged the disorder and complicated her recovery. 

Loneliness is a common thread through Rebecca’s years of struggles. She shares that she felt invisible and sorely misunderstood by those around her, resulting in the urge to hole up with nothing but the false sense of comfort that her disorder provided. The prospect of following a meal plan and losing the rules and rituals of her eating disorder terrified Rebecca and initially kept her from pursuing treatment. With the encouragement of her support system, she courageously surrendered to help and experienced a profound “rebirth” of self on the other side of suffering.

March 23, 2023

What Are the Levels of Eating Disorder Treatment?

At Veritas Collaborative, we provide the highest standard of care across a continuum of treatment levels. We recognize that each patient comes to us with a unique set of treatment needs based on their current medical status, the amount of structure necessary to decrease their eating disorder behaviors, and their motivation for recovery, among other factors. To create a treatment plan just for them, we consider these factors, as well as individual circumstances and clinical judgment, to ensure each patient receives the treatment that’s right for them. The right level of care at the right time provides a solid foundation for long-lasting recovery.

March 17, 2023

A Collaborative Care Approach to Treating Eating Disorders in Adolescents

A young patient enters your office with their parent, the parent understandably worried about the child’s dwindling number of “safe” foods. Their rising anxiety levels. Their near-constant complaints of stomach pain.

Something doesn’t seem right. You suspect it may be an eating disorder—a serious illness that requires timely intervention from providers like you. Once identified, eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and ARFID require a prompt course of action: comprehensive treatment from a multidisciplinary team of eating disorder specialists.

If you encounter a child or adolescent patient displaying eating disorder symptoms, consider Veritas Collaborative your trusted partner. We offer a range of treatment programs specifically tailored to the needs of young people. Our multidisciplinary care teams, including medical providers, therapists, and dietitians, offer expert and compassionate care to address all aspects of your patient’s illness.

March 6, 2023

Episode 81: Finding Your Wise Mind with Sarah Rzemieniak

Episode description:

This month’s Peace Meal guest is Sarah Rzemieniak, who brings multiple perspectives to a rich discussion about eating disorders, healing, and recovery coaching. Drawing from her personal experience and professional background in dietetics and coaching, Sarah begins by sharing some of the temperamental and social factors related to the development of her eating disorder. Though she sought help soon after her anorexia was recognized at age 13, Sarah acknowledges that her recovery was not without challenges and setbacks. She shares how meditation played an essential role during a particularly difficult relapse, helping her to get out of her head and ground herself in her body. 

Now an eating disorder recovery coach, Sarah uses her personal experience, education, and training to support clients in implementing the skills and tools learned in treatment into the “here and now” of their lives. Sarah ends the podcast by sharing her wishes for her young son’s relationship with himself and offering advice for people who feel like recovery is out of reach.

February 9, 2023

Quiz: How Do I Know If I Have an Eating Disorder?

Eating makes you anxious. So anxious, in fact, that you try to avoid “bad” and “unhealthy” foods—at least until you find yourself bingeing on them later. 

Your new exercise routine has you hooked; you’ve even canceled some plans to fit it in. 

You think about your body constantly, with frequent mirror checks and harsh self-scrutiny becoming a daily routine. 

It’s common to question whether certain attitudes and behaviors related to food may point to an eating disorder. However, it can be hard to determine what is considered “normal” in our culture that celebrates restrictive eating and thinness. 

You may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. We’re here to help. Read on to learn about key eating disorder diagnoses, the signs and symptoms to watch for, and some self-assessment questions. By gaining knowledge about eating disorders, you’ll have a better understanding of what you or a loved one may be experiencing. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone. We’re here to support you from the very start. 

February 6, 2023

Episode 80: The Role of an Eating Disorder Nurse with Stacey Brown

Episode description:

Stacey Brown, RN, joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on the role of nursing in eating disorder care. She begins by acknowledging the lack of eating disorder education and training in nursing programs; it wasn’t until she began interacting with patients that she fully understood the impact of these illnesses on every body system. Stacey’s experiences have set her on a mission to speak to nurses at all levels about best practices when caring for patients with eating disorders, including developing strong emotional intelligence. She highlights the importance of every care team member and multidisciplinary collaboration to meet a patient’s full range of needs. The episode concludes with Stacey’s words of wisdom for the next generation of eating disorder nurses.

January 9, 2023

5 Podcast Episodes to Support Your 2023 Intentions

We are currently bombarded with messages suggesting that we should change our bodies in this new year. It’s a particularly noisy time for diet culture, but there are plenty of 2023 intentions that have absolutely nothing to do with a new diet fad or trendy exercise routine. These recovery-aligned goals can protect both your physical and mental well-being, as well as improve your relationship with food, your body, and yourself.

You may want to start meditating, treat yourself with more compassion, or find movement practices that bring you joy. On our podcast Peace Meal, host Dr. Jillian Lampert speaks with experts in the eating disorder field and people in recovery on a range of topics, including practical tips to support these types of recovery-related goals. Read on for five episodes that can help you achieve the intentions you may be pursuing in 2023.

December 28, 2022

Rethinking Resolutions: Setting Goals That Support Eating Disorder Recovery

It happens every January, almost without fail: the hyper-focus on losing weight and getting in shape can make the early months of the year difficult for anyone to navigate. This social pressure to engage in weight-related New Year’s resolutions can make the start of the year a particularly complicated time for those in eating disorder recovery and their loved ones. Taylor Rae Homesley, LPC, CPCS, CEDS-S, Clinical Director at our Child, Adolescent & Adult Hospital in Atlanta, encourages us to proactively rethink the way we approach long-term goal setting, reject diet culture, and reclaim the start of the year as a time for renewal and recovery.

November 23, 2022

Navigating the Thanksgiving Table: A Letter for Those in Eating Disorder Recovery

A note upfront: you will get through Thanksgiving this year.

You will get through this day supercharged with expectations of gratitude, joy, and togetherness. This day when seemingly everyone is eager to take to the kitchen and prepare their assigned dish, presenting it to a table of revelers ready to express their thankfulness over an abundant feast.

You will get through this day that marks the first in a series of seasonal holiday gatherings in which family dynamics and food compete for the center stage–for better or for worse.

Thanksgiving can push the limits of eating disorder recovery in so many ways. It is fraught with the potential for triggers, whether you are well-established in your healing journey or are in the throes of an eating disorder.

Know the lessons from this day will be abundant. Moments that challenge your recovery may be abundant. Ultimately, your growth will be the most abundant. You can and will get through this.

October 31, 2022

Episode 78: Occupational Therapy and Eating Disorders with Maddie Duzyk

Episode description:

We begin this episode of Peace Meal with guest Maddie Duzyk describing her lived experience with anorexia as it compares to her life in recovery. Reflecting on the everyday impact of her eating disorder, she explains how the illness made it difficult to distinguish between her own values and those of her disorder. Fortunately, treatment and recovery have allowed her to find herself again and reconnect with her interests and roles separate from the illness she once mistook for herself. 

As an occupational therapist, Maddie now helps patients on their own recovery journey, including during the often difficult transition from higher levels of care to outpatient life. She shares with us her recent doctoral capstone, which explored the perceptions of social eating behaviors among adolescents with eating disorders, and provides suggestions for those supporting a person with an eating disorder during mealtimes. She ends the podcast by expressing her hope that one day patients and providers alike will recognize and employ occupational therapy as an additional resource in eating disorder recovery. 

October 27, 2022

Celebrating Halloween in Eating Disorder Recovery

Halloween can be scary in more ways than one for people with eating disorders. Being surrounded by candy, wearing a costume, and attending social events are some of the potential triggers this holiday can bring. Despite these challenges, it is possible to celebrate in a recovery-friendly way. 

Read on for helpful tips on how to enjoy Halloween while also prioritizing your eating disorder recovery.

September 29, 2022

Food Insecurity and Eating Disorders

Life is unpredictable. Unexpected expenses like layoffs, medical emergencies, or home repairs can force families to choose between buying food or paying their bills. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 10.2% of American households experienced food insecurity in 2021. The percentage translates to more than 34 million people, including 9 million children. These millions of Americans are at risk of experiencing the serious physical and psychological consequences of food insecurity, including eating disorders

In this blog, we will examine the topic of food insecurity and its connection to eating disorders, as well as what we can do to help those affected. 

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity describes a lack of consistent access to enough food for every member of a household. The issue disproportionally affects marginalized communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, and low-income households. In addition, low-income neighborhoods tend to have fewer supermarkets and grocery stores, which can leave them with lower-quality food options. 

August 31, 2022

Tips for Going Back to School in Eating Disorder Recovery

It’s back-to-school time for parents and students across the country. Big changes in routine are an adjustment for anyone, and especially for people in eating disorder recovery. In addition to shifting schedules, these individuals often face additional difficulties this time of year. This article covers the potential triggers that can come with going back to school, as well as strategies for coping with these challenges in eating disorder recovery.

Student Mental Health Crisis

In 2021, more than a third of surveyed high school students in the U.S. reported experiencing poor mental health during the pandemic, and 44% said they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year, according to a recent CDC study. In a 2020 survey of 1,000 parents around the country, 71% said the pandemic had taken a toll on their child’s mental health. 

July 11, 2022

Episode 74: Finding Yourself in Recovery with Eric Pothen

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Eric Pothen discusses how well-meaning comments about his body played a part in the development of his eating disorder. Following the body commentary he received after college, he says he started restricting, bingeing, and purging via excessive exercise. Eventually exhausted by the darkness he was living in and the feeling of losing himself, he set out on a path to recovery. He explains how preparing for a marathon helped his recovery because he had to focus on nourishing his body to prepare for the race. He also tells us how affirmations played an integral role in his recovery. Eric ends the podcast by explaining that recovery not only gives you freedom from your eating disorder, but also helps you rediscover and love yourself.  

A middle school choir teacher in Albertville, MN, Eric struggled with an eating disorder for several years. Today, he uses his previous struggles of having an eating disorder as his strength to raise awareness and serve as an advocate for those who struggle with these illnesses, disordered eating, or body image. Eric is the owner and founder of the apparel company Embrace Wear, whose mission is to help others learn how to embrace themselves and discover beauty and self-worth within. He recently launched a podcast of his own, Embracing You, which is now available on Apple Podcasts.  

June 29, 2022

Make Small, Gradual Changes in Anorexia Recovery

**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. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Yvonne-Anne is an anorexia survivor currently residing in the UK. While caring for her family members, Yvonne also went to university for a Health and Social Care degree and graduated in 2016. Yvonne’s passion is providing coping strategies with a mix of self-help for those suffering with an eating disorder. She is also seeking literacy representation for her book, The Kaleidoscope Influence, which has recently been published on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

I would firstly like to congratulate those who have recovered or are still recovering from an eating disorder. My journey began when I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at the age of 16. The treatment, or lack of treatment, that I received would be considered unethical compared to the treatments available today. I had no choice but to navigate recovery on my own and find alternatives that worked for me.

In this blog, I will be discussing my recovery journey, including how I dealt with some of the physical and emotional effects that can come along with it.

June 16, 2022

Are You Sure It’s Just Picky Eating?

**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, or symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Farheen Ahmed is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying Neuroscience on the pre-medical track. She is originally from Virginia and spends almost half of every year in Houston, Texas. In her free time, you can find her working at her research lab, volunteering for Rock Recovery, hanging out with her friends, or reading romance novels. Farheen struggled with an eating disorder throughout her high school years and can proudly say she is a recovered survivor.

For the longest time, my friends had me labeled as a picky eater. To them, I didn’t like pasta, I hated pizza, and I’d rather not eat at all than eat anything with cheese. Some excuses I told them were that cheese hurt my stomach, dairy made me break out, and ice cream hurt my teeth. All of this was nothing but lies. I was trying to cover up my fear of most foods. To my friends, I was just a picky eater, which is how I justified eating the same foods every day. I called myself “a creature of habit,” but in reality, I was simply living my life in fear of foods that didn’t deserve to have any sort of power over me.

June 1, 2022

How to Support Your Child with ARFID

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is a newer eating disorder diagnosis that is not as well known as conditions like anorexia and bulimia. Once classified as Selective Eating Disorder (SED), ARFID most commonly affects children and young adolescents⁠—and of course, the parents caring for them. Navigating how to support a child with an eating disorder can be a challenging journey, one made even more difficult when the eating disorder is not widely known or discussed. 

In this blog, we will provide an overview of ARFID, its warning signs, and helpful ways to support your child affected by this type of eating disorder. 

May 11, 2022

A Journey to Healing Is Never Easy, but It’s Always Worth It

**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, or symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Alisha Hana is a bulimia survivor and Surgical Tech in Columbus, Ohio. Writing has always been a passion of hers and has given her a healthy outlet in her recovery. As she continues her journey in healing, she hopes her story can help others and remind them they aren’t alone.

My eating disorder began as a thought, then morphed into a response to an idea that progressed to fear and eventually extreme restriction.

May 2, 2022

Episode 72: The Benefits of Meditation with Kateri Anderson Heymans

Episode description:

Kateri Anderson Heymans is a woman from Minnesota who works remotely and lives her dream of traveling the world. After years of struggling with anorexia and binge eating disorder, she has found freedom from the illnesses that once consumed her life. Since Kateri was 17, she has practiced a type of meditation called the Isha Judd System, taught by the Isha Educating for Peace Foundation. She now teaches this method of meditation and supports others on their journey, taking whatever opportunity she can to share with others the tools and insight that transformed her life.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Kateri discusses her history of anorexia and binge eating disorder, including the isolation and misery these eating disorders caused. She tells us about her journey to finding a meditation practice that positively changed her recovery and life. Through meditation, Kateri was able to gain the self-love and compassion that she so desperately needed, as well as overcome anxiety, depression, and grief from the loss of her mother. Kateri encourages everyone to give themselves the love and grace they deserve and ends the episode with a powerful meditation.