Introducing Balanced You’s new program: Food and Body Liberation

Introducing Balanced You’s new pilot program, Food and Body Liberation. This program draws upon the Health at Every Size approach to support participants in healing their relationship to food and body.  

All of us have received and been impacted by harmful messages around our bodies and food. This might come from social media and news stories, or even comments from family members, friends, or colleagues. This messaging can paint a picture of what health means, equating it to an ideal body shape, size, or standard. This is diet culture – it impacts us all and disproportionately harms people in larger bodies, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and people with intersectional identities. 

Diet culture is a set of beliefs and/or behaviors that values thinness, appearance, and shape above health and well-being. Examples of diet culture include:  

  • a focus on “good” versus “bad” foods 
  • calorie counting or restriction 
  • normalizing self-deprecating talk 
  • ignoring internal cues from your body (hunger, fullness, and satisfaction) 
  • focusing on appearance – including compliments on weight loss or gain 
  • exercising for punishment or reward 

This can have negative consequences to physical and emotional well-being. For many, it can lead to eating disorders, weight cycling, negative body image, and low self-worth. Statistics show that 9% of the US population will have an eating disorder in their lifetime and that eating disorders can disproportionately affect BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.  

Join us to learn more about options that exist outside of a diet culture mindset. Register for an overview session on our new program and read the glossary of terms below to learn more on this topic.  

Attend an Overview session 

Balanced You is excited to partner with Liberating Jasper and offer an upcoming Food and Body Liberation workshop series. Workshops will include topics such as weight stigma, attuned eating, joyful movement, and more! Attend an upcoming Overview Session to learn more, a recorded version will also be shared: 

Glossary of terms 

Health at Every Size (HAES) 

HAES is a research-based model that encourages health-promoting habits without focusing on weight as a measure of health. HAES also works toward ending size discrimination, the culture of dieting, and the belief that “thin” is the only acceptable body size. The primary intent of HAES is to support improved health behaviors for people of all sizes without using weight as a mediator. 

Weight cycling 

Weight cycling, or yo-yo dieting refers to repeated dieting. Research shows repeated dieting typically results in repeated cycling of weight loss and regain. This can lead to significant health risks including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Watch: why dieting doesn’t usually work. 

Weight stigma 

Weight stigma, also known as weight bias or weight-based discrimination, is discrimination or stereotyping based on a person’s weight. Weight stigma is prevalent in the workplace, within families, and in healthcare settings. This can have negative consequences on psychological and physical health. Weight bias in health care is especially dangerous, as research shows that healthcare providers tend to spend less time with their patients in larger bodies, provide them with less health information, or blame their patients for their health concerns.  

Mindful/joyful movement 

A focus on bringing pleasure and awareness to movement, removing shame and “should” from exercise, and reconnecting to the body.   

Attuned nutrition 

Attuned nutrition reconnects us to eating what is nourishing, removes shame and stigma from food choices, and supports tuning in with self and hunger.  

This is a growing list of terms! Participants in the Food and Body Liberation workshop will join together in community to learn more about Health at Every Size, build self-compassion, practice mindful movement and more.   

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