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Former Eating Disorder Recovery patient shares how treatment team helped her fight for herself

02/15/24 05:00:pm

Growing up, Gretchen played competitive soccer with the goal of following in her father’s footsteps and playing at Ohio State. As a junior in high school, Gretchen thought losing a little weight would make her a better player, but once she started at Ohio State, she ended up being sidelined due to injuries. Looking back, Gretchen says she wasn’t healthy enough to play.

“I lost the one thing I’d been aiming for my whole life,” says Gretchen. “I had to find a new goal, a new identity, and it became my eating disorder.”

Gretchen tried treatment elsewhere before admitting into Rogers’ inpatient care, then moving into residential eating disorder treatment.

“They did a phenomenal job of showing me that you aren’t what you do, you aren’t how much you weigh, you aren’t how you look. You are Gretchen with all these positive qualities,” she says.

“The Eating Disorder Recovery Center is dedicated to individualized care,” says Jenifer Waite Wollenburg, manager of residential operations. “Gretchen’s story is a wonderful example of our goal to provide patient-centered real-world experiences to create a new way of living. These experiences include reintroducing everyday activities that had become intolerable and learning that these things are not only still possible, but they may also even be enjoyable again! In Gretchen’s story, it was baking and eating a cookie, and for others it could be putting on jeans again after years of avoidance. We partner with all our residents to create a recovery plan worth ‘fighting for’ and a life worth living again. The Eating Disorder Recovery Center team is cheering on Gretchen and all our alumni as they navigate life and eating disorder recovery.”

Click the video above to hear more about Gretchen’s journey and how her team inspired her career change.

Watch next month’s Insight for a wrap up of how Rogers teams marked Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 28 – March 5.

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