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The Emily Program – Eating Disorder Help :020

The Emily Program, is an eating disorder treatment program

…located in MN, WA, OH and PA that takes a more holistic approach for treatment.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Lisa Diers, RDN, E-RYT, who oversees the national operations of both nutrition and yoga departments, which includes the direction and over site of the clinical practices for 65+ nutrition staff and 20+ yoga instructors.

In my book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding I share my experience of anorexia. I share more of my experience including what helped me to “come out of it”.

This is a great time to clarify that the name “Weight Free Wellness®” by no means implies unhealthy weight management. Rather, my message through this podcast is that wellness goes beyond weight; and achieving a healthy weight (which is different for each individual) is often a byproduct of leading a life with healthy habits.

Lisa and I find out we share a lot in common and have a lively chat about eating disorders, yoga, wellness and more!

Step off the scale, get on to wellness!


The Emily Program - Eating Disorder Help

What kinds of eating disorders does The Emily Program treat?

All kinds, all ages! The most common or what people are most familiar with are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not formerly specified. Eating disorders are a mental health illness and this category has the highest mortality rate of any mental health illness.

Eating disorders do not discriminate. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


How do you identify if someone is experiencing an eating disorder?

Lisa expresses that this is a challenge because in our culture we put so much emphasis and even communicate heavily on the basis of weight, food and image. You don’t know unless they are clinically diagnosed but there are some signs:

  • If your/their eating patterns have changed significantly. Examples are if someone has eliminated a food group or is more anxious around food.
  • Eating disorders thrive in isolation. If a person is not engaging as they normally would, this could be a sign.
  • Depression and irritability


With 12 years of experience working with eating disorders and at The Emily Program, what do you see as the underlying cause of eating disorders?


Having an eating disorder is not a choice. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


“One way to really, really generalize and simplify [the cause of eating disorders] would be when life feels out of control; the two things that us humans can control… are our weight and our food.” – Lisa

Eating disorder is a very complicated subject. This is a broad generalization but serves to help shed some light on what goes through the mind of someone experiencing an eating disorder.

“If I’m experiencing internal turmoil and I feel like I have no control over it, a false sense of control is to manipulate my food, self medicate with food or change my weight… can serve as a distraction… Of course this is not a long-term, healthy way to cope.” – Lisa


Eating disorders are a mal-adaptitve coping skill for life stresses. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT

No one chooses to have an eating disorder. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


What causes eating disorder?

The cause is multifactorial and can include:

  • Genetic
  • Environment (ex. Growing up in an environment with individuals who diet and the impact of media.)


What can you expect when seeking treatment at The Emily Program?

You will receive:

  • A clinical assessment
  • Recommendation for treatment based on research, clinical knowledge and what the individual needs and is ready for. This can include an intensive day program with supported meals and snacks, group process, and yoga therapy. There is also out-patient care where you sit with a therapist and dietician. There is also a residential option for 24/7 acute treatment.
  • Reconnect, rediscover, repair the relationship to food and yourself!


I see people recover all the time! – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT

Also mentioned in this podcast:

  • Our bodies are made up of the components of the foods that we eat… when you are missing key components from your food your are missing key components of yourself.
  • Balance, variety, moderation
  • The connection between gut health and brain health.
  • How to eat a food with confidence… own it!
  • How yoga and mindful movement facilitate the healing process: connecting, compassion, anxiety and depression relief, healthy movement.
  • What’s the best and perhaps the quickest way to develop self-compassion?
  • Pause: observe yourself, observe your thoughts, in a curious, not furious way.
  • The thoughts you think about yourself, would you say them to a loved-one or friend?


…Appreciate what your body can do, versus what it looks like! – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


Check out The Emily Program website for really helpful resources!

About Lisa

Lisa Diers, RDN, LD, E-RYT is  director of nutrition and yoga at The Emily Program, an eating disorder treatment program located in MN, WA, OH and PA. Lisa oversees the national operations of both nutrition and yoga departments, which includes the direction and oversite  of the clinical practices for 65+ nutrition staff and 20+ yoga instructors. She has over 10 years of eating disorder specific: yoga instruction, clinical nutrition counseling and program development experience. Lisa draws from her deep knowledge base of yoga, body image and eating disorder treatment to meet client’s physical and emotional needs. She developed and conducts national  eating disorder & body image  sensitive yoga trainings as well as is  a regular blogger on nutrition, yoga and body image,   a published author (articles, book chapters and published research), and continues to  conduct research to better understand the role of yoga and nutrition in eating disorder recovery.

Lisa Diers - Emily Program