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Why Eating Disorders Go Unnoticed and How to Heal in a Way that Works for You with Lily Thrope

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. Why eating disorders often go unnoticed and how fitness culture contributes to them.

  2. Why eating disorder recovery is personal; no single solution works for everyone.

  3. How you can use therapy, nutrition therapy, and other modalities to sit in discomfort and ultimately heal from food anxiety and eating-related challenges.


📌Episode Highlights

[02:06] Celebrating Whole, Full, and Alive’s 20th Episode

  • The core mission of this podcast is to help people fall in love with being alive and the person they are.

  • This podcast features conversations about nutrition, neuroscience, meditation, boudoir photography, and so much more!

  • You’re enough; you are whole. This podcast will give you tools and prompts to help you realize and understand yourself.

  • Many people believe that their worth comes from something outside themselves.

[08:07] Introducing Lily

  • Lily is the founder and lead therapist at Thrope Therapy, a psychotherapy practice. Caitie and Lily met when they were in a toxic fitness cult.

  • Lily describes herself as bubbly, energetic, and talkative. She loves Disney World, yoga, spirituality, friends, family, and food.

  • She values honesty and authenticity. Her private practice in New York focuses on eating disorders, body disorders, issues that the LGBTQ+ community face, relationship stress, and dating.

[14:27] Lily’s Approach to Therapy

  • Lily shares she tried to have flexibility in her therapy approach. She believes rigidity is why disorders develop in the first place.

  • People always look at things in black and white. Yet, the reality is that there will be ups and downs in our lives.

  • The intense parts of her therapy sessions usually take only 15-20 minutes. The rest of the session is devoted to coping strategies or things that make the client happy.

[16:35] Lily’s Past Challenges

  • Lily shares failing an anatomy class in college. She realized what she loved about physical therapy and switched to philosophy, eventually leading her to social work.

  • Failures are detours. Things that throw you off course are not the end; they can lead you in a better direction.

  • Life is full of challenges, but we must remember we can overcome difficulties.

  • Another challenge Lily has had to face is her eating disorder, which took a long time for her to realize. In the full episode, Lily shares how Caitie helped her realize this.

  • Learn to acknowledge both the positive and negative sides of life.

[23:48] Lily: “I think what's really important is acknowledging things are not good right now, acknowledging I'm in the shit right now. But I'm going to move through it.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[24:08] The Purpose of Therapy

  • Many people think therapy is about toxic positivity and looking for alternate ways to look at a situation.

  • This belief is incorrect. Therapy is where you'll be able to acknowledge everything in your life, both good and bad.

  • Having a therapist allows you to sit in the discomfort together, not alone.

  • Lily recommends in-person therapy.

[27:02] How Lily and Caitie Met

  • Caitie met Lily in a fitness studio that incorporated a diet regime.

  • She felt she couldn't speak out against the diet until she could talk with Lily about it.

  • We all deserve therapy and a safe space to process and heal.

  • Caitie realized the significance of her position as a fitness instructor and working at an eating disorder treatment center.

  • Eating disorders have become so normalized that we don’t even realize it.

[33:51] Why Do Eating Disorders Go Unnoticed?

  • The diet industry is a billion-dollar industry. We're constantly bombarded by diets portrayed as helpful and healthy.

  • Diets are designed for you to fail so you keep coming back.

  • Society celebrates and perpetuates eating disorders, creating a vicious cycle that makes eating disorder recovery more difficult.

  • People also have the impression that eating disorders are only related to fitness or thinness. Yet, it can affect people of all body sizes.

  • Eating disorders may not be visible by looking at people's bodies. Even medical professionals are not always aware of these disorders.

[39:08] Lily: “How is this impacting your life? How is this impacting your mental health? How is your relationship with food making you feel? And that's a big part of eating disorders that I think is invisible.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[39:44] How Eating Disorders Develop

  • Sometimes, even doctors themselves encourage behaviors that border on eating disorders.

  • So many doctors still use BMI as a proxy for health and make assumptions about people’s health using their body size and shape.

  • There's no catch-all way to solve health problems. Most often, people must be flexible to find out what's really happening.

  • So many people and doctors make food and nutrition their business.

  • It’s incredibly important to have flexibility in your life.

[43:28] How to Make Better Choices for Eating Disorder Recovery

  • Remember, there’s no one universal solution to problems.

  • So many eating disorders start because people follow one person’s approach instead of listening to themselves.

  • Don’t just follow advice blindly.

[43:40] Lily: “Anyone who says, do this thing, I don't care what it is do this thing and you will not have anxiety, you will feel better your back won't hurt your this. There is not one thing that changes how we feel, there is no one thing in this world that changes how we feel.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[45:59] How People Recover from Eating Disorders

  • There's no one-size-fits-all approach to eating disorder recovery. Despite this, so many programs are rigid and are not personalized.

  • There should be more awareness regarding creating environments conducive to recovery.

  • When people want to recover, they must first identify what they need. For example, whether they can be an outpatient or need to go residential.

  • People need to feel safe to recover from eating disorders. Disorders are, at their core, about seeking a source of safety.

[51:54] What Eating Disorder Recovery Looks Like

  • Identify the safest environment where you feel you can let go of unhealthy behaviors.

  • This doesn't always mean medical treatments — it can also be about your community and support groups.

  • Remember, while you can fully recover from the disorder, it can still come back. There is often something underneath the disorder you need to heal from.

  • Lily curated her Instagram and media content to create a safer environment for herself.

  • For Lily, flexibility means being able to do what you want and need in your time.

[59:33] Do What You Love

  • Take time to do something outside of your work.

  • Don't feel guilty about drinking coffee because of the trend of people saying it's bad for you.

  • Coffee might be supportive to your daily life and your grounding routines.

  • Consider what health risks it might entail for you, but be flexible and decide what is important to you and what the best choice for your wellness is.

[1:02:47] The Processing Prompt and Experiment

  • Reflect on this: in what area of your life do you feel lacks a sense of flexibility? What is that teaching you about yourself?

  • Remember, be compassionate with yourself.

  • If you believe you need to do something a certain way every single day, try doing the opposite and do something different to see how it feels.

About Lily

Lily Thorpe, LCSW, is the founder of Thrope Therapy LCSW PLLC, a psychotherapy practice located in Midtown Manhattan. Thrope Therapy specializes in supporting individuals who experience eating disorders, disordered eating, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and LGBTQIA-related issues. Lily is also a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and HAES aligned.

Lily helps her clients find the confidence to face these issues and find ways to live their happiest and most authentic lives. Lily is committed to fostering an environment where the client is the expert of their own story and therefore has integral skills for working towards their therapy goals.

Connect with Lily: Thrope Therapy I Instagram

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Lily: Anyone who says I don't care what it is, do this thing and you will not have anxiety, you will feel better, your back won't hurt. There is not one thing that changes how we feel. There is no one thing in this world that changes how we feel.

I think what happened to me in the yoga practice was I was a very anxious and depressed person. The leader of this cult said, you will not feel those things if you do this diet, and yeah, okay, maybe I didn't feel those things anymore. But now I had an eating disorder, I treated one mental health challenge for another and that is not healing.

Caitie: Welcome to Whole, Full and Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are. Underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account.

I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician, nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition. But underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity.I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy, you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Right here. Right now. Let's get into it.

Hey, welcome back to another episode of hole four for and alive. I guess it's actually not just another episode of Whole, Full, and Alive. It is episode 20. Full, full and alive episode two, zero — that feels like a milestone. It absolutely feels like a milestone. I am looking back at the last 20 episodes and feeling first of all, so grateful that you're here that you're tuning in, that we're connected in some way, and that there is a small community forming around this podcast that feels so good. Mind blowing. I'm so excited about it.

I'm also looking back at the last 20 episodes and seeing that we've covered such a range of topics. There have been so many incredible guests bringing their perspectives. There have been so many topics that I'm excited to have explored in solo episodes. I mean, we have done nutrition Q&As, we've talked about eating disorder recovery, we've talked about what to look for in a therapist and holding space. We've talked about neuroscience, we have talked about meditation, and contemplative practices. We've talked about breakups. We've talked about self compassion. We've talked about boudoir and boudoir photography, how to tell intuition from anxiety, financial wellness and financial planning, body image.

So much stuff like so, so much stuff has come up over these past 20 episodes. And so, before I dive into introducing today's guest, and today's topic, I just want to take a moment to reorient us to the mission of this podcast. So while we're talking about all of these different topics, and interviewing such a diverse array of amazing women, I just want to remind you that the mission of this show is to help you fall in love with being alive and to help you fall in love with the person that you are, underneath all of the things that the world tells you you're incomplete without, I want you to know that you're whole, I want you to know that your worth is inherent. And I want you to know that you will never feel as good as you can feel. If there's something you think you're inadequate without. That's why we're here on this microphone.

You will never feel as good as you can feel if there's something you think you're inadequate without. And so through all of the topics that we're exploring on this episode, through all the tools, all of the processing prompts all of the actionable experiments that I'm giving you. I hope that you will learn to source a sense of home within yourself, to source a sense of safety and completeness from within yourself and to release any rigid attachment that you have to something outside of you that you think you need to feel complete.

That is my main mission here because I think at the end of the day, whether I'm talking to a client about their eating disorder recovery, or talking to a client about healing their body image, or talking to a friend about recovering from a breakup, or talking to myself, at the end of a hard day, I find that the biggest obstacle that so many people come up against is the belief that they are not worthy unless they have something outside of themselves, they are not worthy, unless they have a partner, they are not worthy, unless they have a certain job, they are not worthy unless they have a certain degree.

And, because people tend to feel that they are not whole. Without those things outside of themselves, they tend to feel really unsafe, and dysregulated and sort of uncomfortable in their bodies until they find that thing. And then if that thing is taken away from them, they tend to feel unsafe in their bodies, ungrounded in their bodies, uncentered, their world is rocked a little bit.

So through all of these conversations that we're having about all of these different topics, I hope that above all else, you get some tangible tools for feeling so good in your own body. So good with yourself so complete, so hold within that everything outside of you just amplifies and adds to your sense of aliveness, rather than being your source of aliveness, or your source of wholeness or your source of completeness.

I'm totally learning out loud here with you. I am an expert in helping people recover from eating disorders and disordered eating, and from body image distress and body image issues. And also, I am learning out loud here, I am still myself learning how to source a sense of wholeness, a sense of completeness from within, I've shared a few times on this show that I have a tendency to source, a sense of completeness, and a sense of wholeness from being in a relationship from being in a romantic partnership.

This year has really been about understanding how I can move through the world as a late 20s single woman and really, really love my life and everything about it and know that I can meet a partner eventually, and they'll add to my life and amplify it, but it won't be the thing that makes my life complete, you know. I've also shared that I have struggled with my relationship with money, my relationship with finances and sourcing a sense of wholeness from the number in my bank account. I am certainly here to be a guide for you to be a teacher for you in whatever way I can and also to just meet you at eye level as a human being and share with you what I'm learning as I live life as I research as I interview all the amazing guests who are coming on this show.

So with that, let me introduce today's amazing, amazing guest. Her name is Lily Thrope. She is the founder and lead therapist at throat therapy, which is a mental health therapy private practice based in Manhattan. So Lily is the lead therapist and founder at this private practice and she has multiple therapists working under her. She is a badass.

Lily is also one of the most important people in both my personal life and my professional life. Lily is a very good friend of mine, we are actually going to talk on this podcast about our meet cute. Lily and I met years and years ago, when we were both in the throes of like this toxic fitness cult. And we ended up bonding over the fact that we realized that this toxic fitness cult was a toxic fitness cut, basically bonded over that. Then we stayed in touch for years after and we both ended up opening up our own private practices — myself in nutrition and Lily in mental health therapy.

Now we get to collaborate all the time on client cases and we support each other in the growth of our businesses. And it is just so amazing. I'm so grateful to have Lily in my life. On today's episode Lily is going to talk briefly about her approach to mental health counseling and therapy. And then Lily is going to talk a little bit about her own eating disorder recovery and what it's like to be a recovered clinician. Then we're going to talk about why eating disorders tend to go unnoticed, why eating disorders are one of the most unnoticed and unaccounted for mental health conditions. And then we're also going to talk about why eating disorder recovery is unique for each person and why It's important for each individual to find an environment that is going to be supportive for them in their own eating disorder recovery.

This conversation is certainly for you if you are thinking about working with a therapist right now and uncertain where to start. Or if you're feeling like you want to work with a new therapist, and are looking maybe for a different and unique approach and want to hear more about lilies. This is also a great episode for you. If you're curious about eating disorder recovery, and what the eating disorder treatment process might look like, and why it needs to be unique for each individual person. I would say this is especially for you if you're someone who's finding yourself exploring the world of eating disorder recovery on social media, and you're feeling kind of confused about what it's supposed to look like to recover from an eating disorder.

I'm so grateful that Lily gave her time, her energy, her professional opinion and wisdom to this episode, and I'm so excited to dive in. Here is my interview episode 20 with Lily Thrope. All right, Lily, thank you so much for being here today. I'm so excited to finally have you on the show. You are one of the most important people in my professional and personal life. And I'm so stoked to talk to you today.

Lily: Amazing. Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be on the podcast. I've been listening since the old podcast. So I'm really excited to be a part of it and share some important content that we have planned today.

Caitie: Yeah, this is long overdue, this conversation. So before we get into anything, please tell me who are you? What makes you who you are? How would you describe your energy? What lights you up? How do people know when they&#