About two years ago our campus Dietitian, Rachael Omdoll, became a facilitator through The Body Positive in hopes to help enhance the campus experience and spread positivity. This program, which we call Be Body Positive here are UWW, aims at assisting students to love their body just as they are.
Typically an 8 week program that meets once per week, this group discusses the challenges in college in regards to comparing oneself to others. We’ve all been faced with judgement from ourselves and from others based on the way we look and this can be detrimental to our mental health affecting our overall campus experience. Have you ever heard that “comparison is the thief of joy”? When we compare ourselves to others it really does steal our joy for life.
Be Body Positive is here to help change that. Learning to love your body exactly as designed is vastly important because we are all beautiful and unique. The Body Positive originally created this program to help children and teens who were experiencing eating disorders. As the program grew, Connie and Elizabeth (the founders of The Body Positive), expanded their audience and now their program helps thousands of individuals every year.
This program was created to break down stereotypes, biases, and judgement of any kind. The goal is to be as inclusive as possible and all discussions are kept confidential. Joining this program helps create positivity, community, and spread joy. It can be a very eye opening experience that leaves students with hope and a positive outlook for their life.
Be Body Positive aligns with Health at Every Size because at the end of the day our weight does not determine our worth. It is certainly okay to want to make changes to your body, but these changes should be about feeling good and challenging yourself, not focused on looking like a celebrity. Weight is not discussed in this group in any way shape or form.
The Body Positive model focuses on 5 core competencies which include:
- Reclaim Health: here we discover what experiences in life have made an influence on how we perceive health.
- Practice intuitive Self-Care: here we discuss how to listen to our body’s needs and acquire tools to improve self-care, no matter what that may look like.
- Cultivate Self-Love: this is becoming more and more important. Self-Love includes forgiving ourselves and practicing self-compassion.
- Declare Your Own Authentic Beauty: learning to be proud of your own authentic beauty and embracing that to the fullest.
- Build Community: connect with others and spread love and joy as you enhance your own authentic beauty, you will also help enhance your community and spread the love.
We hope that spring semester we will be able to bring these groups back, possibly in more of a workshop style fashion. Until then, here is a link to a video that show cases how this program has helped others.
One of Rachael’s favorite activities is also included. It has been the most impactful activity as it aims to help students understand what in their past has impacted their current views of themselves and where they want their relationship with their own body to be.
Reach out to Rachael to learn more about Be Body Positive and how you can start your journey today!