Life Without Ed®

Transform Your Relationship with Food and Your Body

Workshop Quick Summary

This workshop is currently unavailable.

Workshop: Life Without ED — Eating and Body Disorders

Category: Personal Growth

What: A weekend workshop that provides wisdom and practical tools to transform that oh-so-complicated relationship with food and body

Who: Anyone who has struggled with disordered eating or an eating disorder and are looking for a recovery — and life — boost

Cost: $1,500 (includes meals, evening activities, Brain Center and gym access)

Lodging: Bunkhouse lodging for Friday and Saturday night is included

Jenni Schaefer

Author & Meadows Senior Fellow (Workshop Facilitator)

A Meadows Senior Fellow and advocate for its specialty eating disorders program, The Meadows Ranch, Jenni Schaefer is the bestselling author of Life Without Ed, Almost Anorexic, and Goodbye Ed, Hello Me. Her next release, Facing the Invisible Monster: How I Came Back from Trauma and How You Can Too, is scheduled for a January 2022 release.

Schaefer graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with a degree in biochemistry, and she knows firsthand the devastating consequences of an eating disorder. Since recovering from her own eating disorder, she has carried her message of self-acceptance and triumph over adversity to the public. A sought-after speaker on addiction and food disorders, relationships, depression, and career, Jenni has appeared on Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, the TODAY show and Entertainment Tonight, as well as in print coverage from Cosmopolitan and The New York Times. For more information, visit

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All About This Workshop

Developed in collaboration with Jenni Schaefer, Meadows Senior Fellow and author of the breakthrough bestseller Life Without Ed®, this workshop brings the book to life and, more importantly, can help you move beyond problems with eating and body image and jump back into your own life.

Do you find yourself asking any of the following questions:

  • Who am I without my eating disorder?
  • Will my body always be a battleground?
  • How can I find long-term balance with food and exercise in an eating disordered culture?
  • Will life transition inevitably shake my recovery?
  • Will I ever be happy?

Co-facilitated by Schaefer herself, this weekend workshop provides wisdom and practical tools to transform that oh-so-complicated relationship with food and body. Maybe you have already done a lot of hard work in eating disorder treatment, are no longer engaging in destructive behaviors, and find yourself asking, “Now what?” Or maybe you’ve struggled with emotional eating for years — numbing your feelings with food and disliking your body — and never had a real chance to focus on healing. Life Without Ed® is the chance to get the help that’s been missing and that you deserve.

We will get creative with art, music, mindfulness, and movement. Get ready for some yoga or tai chi and a conversation about intuitive exercise, which sometimes means just taking a nap! We will help you to develop what Schaefer has learned to call “leisure skills” (how to relax and have fun) and even the art of doing nothing.

The Life Without Ed® workshop is for anyone ages 18 or older who has struggled with disordered eating and all types of eating disorders. Basically, if you know Ed, have filed for divorce from “him,” and are working on finalizing those papers, this workshop is for you. Think of this retreat as a recovery — and life — boost.

Additional topics to be explored include:

  • Body acceptance — and even love — in a world that doesn’t accept our bodies
  • Repurposing underlying traits like anxiety and perfectionism toward life goals
  • What to do if you can’t fully let go of disordered eating
  • What to do if, when you do let go of “Ed,” other self-defeating behaviors emerge, including alcohol and substance abuse
  • Relationships and intimacy: building a village and creating boundaries
  • Feelings and the fear of feelings, like guilt, shame, sorrow, and anger
  • Navigating major triggers (like your exercise-obsessed best friend or your doctor-prescribed diet for medical reasons)
  • Making it through big life events without Ed’s help (college, marriage, divorce, babies, job loss, menopause, etc.)
  • Grieving the loss of Ed
  • Trauma, post-traumatic growth, and resilience after an eating disorder
  • Sharing your story and supporting others

Cost: $1,500, which includes

  • meals
  • Bunkhouse lodging Friday and Saturday night
  • evening activities (yoga, tai chi, auricular acupuncture, live music)
  • 12-Step meeting
  • Brain Spa access
  • gym access

Lodging and Transportation

Lodging in the Rio Retreat Bunkhouse on Friday and Saturday night is included in the workshop cost. Rooms are simply appointed and designed to be conducive to the process of healing and recovery. Transportation will be available from and to the Phoenix airport with two convenient pickup times. Details will be sent with your confirmation email upon completion of the sign-up process.

The Fine Print

The Life Without Ed® workshop begins at 1 pm on Friday and ends Sunday at 4 pm. The schedule is somewhat flexible to accommodate the size of the group and group process. Evening programming is provided after dinner. The Rio Retreat Center campus is strictly alcohol-and drug-free, and we have a dress code, cell phone, and smoking policy.

This workshop is limited to 20 participants. We encourage making reservations three to four weeks in advance. To register, please contact us to speak to a Workshop Coordinator.


Attending this workshop is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my recovery. It pushed me from the recovery plateau I’d been on for quite some time to a new level of engaging in life. – Jess

“This retreat was the perfect follow up to inpatient eating disorder treatment. It was an honor to work with Jenni and the team at Rio Retreat who helped me fully surrender to my eating disorder and explore the underlying issues of my past behaviors. This experience aided in improving my self-confidence and self-worth and also expanded my circle of support within the eating disorder community. I’d recommend the retreat to anyone who’s looking for that last nudge toward full eating disorder recovery.” – Meg

“Attending this workshop is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my recovery. It pushed me from the recovery plateau I’d been on for quite some time to a new level of engaging in life. One of the most helpful (and hard) parts of this change was learning in the workshop how much my exercise routine, while not objectively “unhealthy,” was continuing to feed my eating disorder. Leaving the workshop, I made a commitment to take a break from exercise, which is one of the hardest and most life-giving things I’ve ever done.” – Jess


Life Without ED®

Currently unavailable