Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

Defining Me

by Melanie Aldis
Regional Director of Business Development
Center for Change

My name is Melanie Aldis and I have a message of hope for recovery. My message comes from personal experience, passion, and from the heart.

I had an eating disorder for ten years, from the age of thirteen to twenty-three. I am now in my thirties. Unfortunately, I don’t have much memory of those ten years, only bits and pieces. What I do remember is that I felt inadequate at a very young age. I never felt pretty, smart, popular, or accepted as me. I thought I was just plain old average or less than and that wasn’t good enough. I don’t remember how or when the eating disorder started, but I know that underneath it all I had intense self-hatred. Eventually the eating disorder became my entire identity and that is when my process of self-discovery came to a halt. I thought that the eating disorder would help me find thinness, beauty, and the answer to true happiness and success in life. As you all know, the excitement and glamour of the eating disorder does not last forever. My life was consumed with food, insecurities, and my outward appearance. While other kids were learning what their favorite sports or colors were, I had my head in a toilet.

After ten years of slow suicide, my esophagus was eroding; I had heart burn all the time, and my heart would randomly beat irregularly throughout the day. What kind of existence is that? I discovered that I wasn’t invincible and that if I didn’t do something I would be “the girl who had died of an eating disorder.” I wasn’t ready to leave this world with that kind of label. I didn’t know what my purpose in life was, but I knew there was a reason I had to keep holding on. I was finally ready to fully commit to recovering from the eating disorder.


News & Announcements

Center for Change is once again proud to be hosting our annual Alumni and Community Events. Both events are free, but you must register to attend:

Alumni Event
Thursday, July 15, 2010
9:00am – 8:30pm

Community Event
Friday, July 16, 2010
8:00am – 4:00pm
Includes presentations by Michael E. Berrett, PhD; Nicole Hawkins, PhD; Melissa Taylor, LMFT; and Jenni Schaefer
Register Here

IAEDP Event held by Center for Change
“Beyond Recovery:  How Clinicians Can Teach Clients the Art of Living After an Eating Disorder”
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
6:30pm – 8:00pm
University of Utah Student Union Building
Includes presentations by Michael E. Berrett, PhD and Jenni Schaefer
2 CEU’s will be offered for a $25 charge for IAEDP members, $35 for non-members
Click here for more information

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) Annual Conference
“Building Bridges to Recovery”
Friday, October 8, 2010 – Sunday, October 10, 2010
New York City, NY
Click here for more information


Where’s Jenni

Friday, July 16, 2010
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Orem, UT
Center For Change
FREE Community Event
Presentations by Michael E. Berrett, Ph.D., Nicole Hawkins, PhD, Melissa Taylor, LMFT; and Jenni Schaefer.
Register here

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
6:30 PM
Salt Lake City, UT
University of Utah (Student Union Building)iaedp-Utah Chapter’s professional event with Michael E. Berrett, Ph.D. and Jenni Schaefer.  Presentation titled “Beyond Recovery: How Clinician’s Can Teach Clients the Art of Living After an Eating Disorder.”

Friday, September 17, 2010
Orem, UT
Center For Change Family Week
Jenni will be speaking with patients and their family members at Center For Change. This event is not open to the general public. For more information about Center For Change, visit