Are you thinking about starting your journey to recovery from ED? Do you have questions and concerns that may be holding you back? Can knowledge release you from fear and kickstart your journey to wellness? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks about recovery and the fears, realities, and questions it brings with Emily Murray.


Emily is a licensed registered dietitian nutritionist and certified eating disorders specialist through the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. She established her private practice, Murray Nutrition, in 2020, where she and her two associates provide nutrition counseling and coaching to individuals who suffer from eating disorders and disordered eating, weight and body image concerns, and co-occurring mental health concerns. Emily is often helping her clients sift through “food & feelings” and invites the deep, emotional work that is required to heal from disordered eating and eating disorders. Visit Murray Nutrition and connect on Instagram.


  • Treating ED with underlying medical conditions
  • Getting used to eating again
  • Gaining weight is normal
  • Seek out and value genuine connections
  • Find the middle ground

Treating ED with underlying medical conditions

A lot of people start with restrictions because of medical diagnoses. (Dr. Cristina Castagnini)
Many people that struggle with IBS, diabetes, and other underlying medical conditions are sometimes required to avoid certain foods. This restrictive approach to wellness can take a turn for the worse when the person then begins a bad cycle of constant restriction.
It’s just another layer to the nutrition rehabilitation process, so establishing normalized eating patterns. There are just other considerations to factor in when someone has, for example, something like type 1 diabetes and it might be important for them the carb count to put in for their insulin. (Emily Murray)
Therefore, treating ED with underlying medical conditions requires a multilayered approach to make sure their health is maintained while they work on recovery.

Getting used to eating again

For those who have suffered from an eating disorder and are on their journey to recovery, getting back to eating again can feel like a huge challenge to overcome.
Restriction numbs us emotionally and so there’s this benefit that we may not see where some of our emotions … anxiety, depression … when our body doesn’t have enough calories, it’s not [aware] enough to process all of that stuff, and to [work through] it. (Emily Murray)
Part of learning how to eat again means learning how to cope with the struggles in life that you may have been avoiding through becoming hyper-focused on the ED.
That’s what happens a lot of times when we stop restricting [is that] we feel worse before we feel better because we feel all these things that we’ve shut down. (Emily Murray)
This is why recovery is a holistic process. You learn to eat again, you learn to care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, and you learn how to sustain this positive change.

Gaining weight is normal

Gaining weight is normal and losing weight is normal within a healthy range. Every person’s body is genetically different. Your “ideal” body will look completely different from another person’s because you are genetically different.
Two people could eat the same food, and work out the same amount … and they would look very different. (Emily Murray)
Body diversity is not only about self-love, but it is also about science. No one is supposed to – or should – look the same. Commit to learning to celebrate that uniqueness instead of feeling like you need to look like someone else.

Seek out and value genuine connections

Don’t take things personally. When someone comments on you or your body, almost always, it would be a reflection of what they find beautiful or what they think has meaning.
A part of recovery is figuring out who [your] people are, [and] how [you] can find connection in this world that’s [separate] from the superficial body. (Emily Murray)
A compliment is not the same as a connection. Think about the people around you in your life right now. Do they value and compliment the person that you are? Or do they only compliment and see you for what you look like?

Find the middle ground

Both the eating disorder and companies or influencers who want to sell you products online will try to have you believe in extremes, and that some things are good and some things are bad. Genuinely, everything – from ice cream to kale – can be “good” for you and your overall health in moderation. Consider your mental, physical, emotional, and social health.
Try to find the middle ground in all of these extremes. That’s what you see online, [that] all of the nutrition information is just so extreme … it [leaves] people feeling anxious and disappointed. (Emily Murray)
Health is so much more than what you eat and your activity levels. Overall health encompasses your emotional health, spiritual and mental wellbeing, and genuine appreciation of life.


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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