Have you felt worried about the possibility of achieving recovery? Have you ever felt like your eating disorder would never go away? What does it look like to achieve a full recovery and to feel in control and genuinely happy in your life? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini discusses a personal journey to full recovery with Lauren Rome.


Lauren, 33, was born and raised in New Jersey. After a lifetime of struggling with an eating disorder, going through numerous treatments, and many relapses, she can say that she is now fully recovered! She hopes to lead by example and show others they too can reach full recovery no matter how long they’ve struggled.

Connect with Lauren on Instagram.


  • The early days of ED
  • Struggling in treatment
  • Lauren’s steps into the real change

The early days of ED

For me, I don’t have any memories without the eating disorder. (Lauren Rome)
The story that Lauren’s family always refers back to as to how or when her eating disorder could’ve started was from when she was five years old. She was going with her grandmother to get takeaway food for lunch and felt upset at the idea that the cashier would think all of the food was for her. The fear that a stranger would judge her eating habits began to spiral into the rest of her eating disorder and how it would later develop. Furthermore, Lauren’s father was in a larger body and he often received comments from the family to change.
There were always comments at the dinner table … it made me uncomfortable at a young age … I [didn’t] want to receive that type of criticism either. (Lauren Rome)
Later in high school, Lauren began binge eating and abusing exercise, and it wasn’t until she was 17 that she started therapy. She often had a stomach ache that she now realized was chronic anxiety.

Struggling in treatment

Lauren, throughout her twenties, was in and out of treatment centers, and some were far better than others.
I certainly was not in recovery … this is where my twenties get a little blurry because I feel like a lot happened because I did go to a few other treatment centers – at least two others that were residential – and then a couple of intensive out-patient programs. (Lauren Rome)
Despite different treatment programs, hospital stays, and changing therapists, Lauren still was not fully in recovery from her eating disorder. The symptoms were being treated, but not the root cause.
For a while, I felt like, “As long as I’m not binging, then that’s recovery”. For the longest time [I thought], “As long as I’m not binging, then I’m in recovery” but I knew I was still doing things [like] restricting … abused exercise … and I don’t even know how I managed to do it for as long as I did. (Lauren Rome)

Lauren’s steps into the real change

Although, Lauren now knows that the whole process – even though it took many years – was all worth it in the end. Recovery is completely possible, but only when you yourself truly decide to change.
I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from going to treatment from my less-than-ideal experience because honestly, I think it took the combination of everything I did … I don’t think anything of it was a waste. I think all the therapy, all the different interventions I went through … it all eventually did help me. (Lauren Rome)
The moment when Lauren realized that she was truly on the path of recovery was when she noticed that she is no longer obsessed with food every day. She was present with the people that she was with, the activities that she did, the type of lifestyle that she wants to experience without constantly thinking about food and how it would fit in with all of these things. Even if you experience relapses, know that recovery is possible. As long as you are committed to yourself, recovery is always possible and achievable for you.



  I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "Hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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