Life Without Ed®

Transform Your Relationship with Food and Your Body

Personal Growth Workshop

Personal Growth Workshop

Quotes icon

Who am I without Ed (aka "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?

Common Questions of a Workshop Attendee

About the Workshop

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

Co-facilitated by Jenni herself, this weekend workshop will provide 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 have struggled with emotional eating for years—numbing your feelings with food and disliking your body—and never had the real chance to focus on healing.

Jenni SchaeferLife Without Ed® is the chance to get the help that’s been missing and that you deserve. 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 (e.g., your exercise-obsessed best friend, your doctor-prescribed diet for medical reasons)
  • Making it through big life events without Ed’s help (e.g., college, marriage, divorce, babies, job loss, menopause)
  • Grieving the loss of Ed
  • Trauma, post-traumatic growth, and resilience after an eating disorder
  • Sharing your story and supporting others

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 Jenni 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 women and men (ages 18 or older) who have 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.


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.


$1,500 – All-inclusive are meals and evening activities: Yoga, Tai Chi, Auricular Acupuncture, Live Music, and 12-step meeting. Access to the Brain Center and gym are also included in the cost of the workshop.

Lodging and Transporation

Lodging at the Rio Retreat Bunkhouse is included in the cost for Friday and Saturday nights, and is purposely free of the distractions that often accompany hotel lodging. Rooms are simply appointed and are shared occupancy (two guests per room); guests will be placed with a roommate who is also attending the training. Transportation will be available from and back to the Phoenix Airport, and details will be sent with your confirmation email upon completion of the registration process.

Please Note

The Life Without Ed® workshop meets from 1:00 p.m. on Friday to Sunday at 4:00 p.m. The schedule is somewhat flexible to accommodate the size of the group and group process. Evening programming is provided after dinner. The Meadows Rio Retreat campus is strictly alcohol and drug free and has a dress code, cell phone, and smoking policy. Please consult our Workshop Coordinator for more information.

Cancellation / Transfer Policy

We rely on accurate attendance count to make important arrangements for this training. If a cancellation occurs 14 or more days prior to the start of the training, a full refund, less a $200 administrative fee, will be issued. Cancellations less than 14 days before the beginning date of the training are non-refundable. If you have to cancel your attendance, please contact us as soon as possible.

Life Without Ed® is a federally registered trademark licensed by Meadows Behavioral Healthcare.


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®

Jul 16 - 18, 2021

Dec 10 - 12, 2021