By Donald Dill
Marji Graf( on the right), CEO, Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomes Green Mountain at Fox Run Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating to the Chamber. Pictured:Kari Anderson, president and clinical director; Shiri Macri, primary clinical therapist.
LUDLOW—There’s only one women’s center for binge and emotional eating in the country, and it’s in Ludlow. The Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating is an insurance-eligible outpatient counseling center with a licensed clinical staff specializing in eating behavior. “We help women who are preoccupied with food and weight and feel like it is controlling their life,” Kari Anderson, president and clinical director and Shiri Macri, primary clinical therapist, said in a press statement. “One more diet won’t address the real issue and might make it worse. Our approach to eating behavior offers a perfect blend of science and caring. We help women feel free to live their life without fear of food or weight struggles.”
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder, many experts believe that twice as many people suffer from binge eating disorder than they do from anorexia or bulimia combined. It is estimated that 3 percent of the population suffers in silence. It is a disorder that isn’t readily diagnosed because of the stereotype and cultural humiliation of living in a larger body. The shame and secret of one’s eating behavior is actually a symptom of the disorder. Weight is only an outward sign of a deeper problem and it isn’t a lack of willpower, Anderson and Macri explain.
The Women’s Center treats a continuum of eating behavior including the common and often progressive beginnings of binge eating, called compulsive or emotional overeating. It feels like you are “addicted” to certain foods and can’t stop once you start eating. Interestingly, this behavior is more likely to be driven by the attitudes and beliefs one holds rather than the food itself.
The Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating is affiliated with Green Mountain at Fox Run, a retreat in Ludlow for healthy weight and wellness with over 40 years of experience in helping women kickstart a new lifestyle.
Green Mountain at Fox Run draws women from all over the nation and internationally to attend its retreat center. The counseling center grew out of a need to offer clinical services to the women visiting the retreat. “We want to reach out to the community and surrounding area in offering hope for recovery to those who live locally as well,” the joint statement continued.
President and Clinical Director Dr. Kari Anderson has 25 years of experience providing specialized treatment for eating disorders. She has a doctorate in behavioral health and has done extensive research on treatment for binge eating. She and her husband moved to the Ludlow area from Phoenix to open this center; she is employed by Green Mountain at Fox Run.
The center was founded in 1973 by Thelma Wayler, MS, RD, who took over an empty dorm at Vermont’s Green Mountain College to found the country’s first and only residential weight loss program exclusively for women.
The center is located at 70 Main Street in Ludlow, Vt. It holds an open house every Thursday at 5 p.m.