The Importance of Community

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body_love_conferenceWe attended and presented at the first Body Love Conference in Tucson, Arizona last weekend. 400 people were there from all of the country to support a radical, body loving revolution led by Jes Baker, of the Militant Baker, and many others. Thirty-five speakers (who donated their time, yo) spoke about topics ranging from Hot Sex and the Curvy Girl to Expanding the Thin White Ideal to Big Girl, Big Career and so much more.

And it was revolutionary. Jes and her team of volunteers created a space that celebrated inclusion. There was a subtle theme running throughout the day: your life is unapologetically for the taking; don’t wait for permission from anyone (because it’s not coming!).

 

Live and love in your beautiful body right now.

We feel privileged to have talked with lots of the conference attendees and we notice this: women are excited about the message of loving your body and accepting yourself as you are, today, in this moment. When they attend our talks and hear about the ineffectiveness of dieting, the tenets of Health at Every Size® and the principles of intuitive eating, it resonates in the depths of their very being. They hear truth.

But then comes the leaning in and letting go. We hear more often than not: “Maybe I could first lose X pounds and then work on this idea of accepting and loving my body.”

Choosing this path is not an easy one. For most, it means giving up the dream of being thin. It means accepting our weight in the same way we accept our shoe size or our height. But the culture doesn’t tell us that if we ate like someone with a size 6 shoe, we could have a size 6 foot, so it is complicated. People have good days and not-so-good days. It’s all part of choosing body positivity in a culture that is truly fucked up when it comes to food, body image and weight.

As Danna Faulds says in her poem Sangha

To take one step is courageous;
to stay on the path day after day,
choosing the unknown,
and facing yet another fear,
that is nothing short of grace.

It is a rare and undeniably liberating experience to truly enter into a weight neutral space, such as the Body Love Conference. Similarly, we are so proud that people love coming to Be Nourished because it is such a body friendly environment. Many clients come early or stay after appointments to soak in the body positivity. We often tell our clients that within 30 minutes of leaving our office, they will receive at least one message – in the form of a weight loss ad or a billboard with a woman being objectified, telling them that they are crazy for letting go of their weight loss dreams and choosing the path towards health at any size.

We know in our hearts that amazing efforts like the Body Love Conference have lasting effects that will radiate out from that one beautiful day. Those of us who were lucky enough to attend the conference will carry the aura forward into our communities, with more certainty then ever because we know we are not alone in this truth. And we can assure those who did not attend that we know you are out there, and you are also part of this growing, loving, liberating tribe.

Choosing this radical path requires community. Research shows that women heal in relationship to one another. And there is power in numbers. The Body Love Conference provided us with that, and magical things happened.


Sangha
by Danna Faulds

Teach me what I cannot learn alone.

Let us share what we know,

and what we cannot fathom.

Speak to me of mysteries,

and let us never lie to one another.

May our fierce and tender longing

fuel the fire in our souls.

When we stand side by side,

let us dare to focus our desire on the truth.

May we be reminders, each for the other,

that the path of transformation

passes through the flames.

To take one step is courageous;

to stay on the path day after day,

choosing the unknown,

and facing yet another fear,

that is nothing short of grace.

Want to learn more about the Body Love Conference?  Here is a photo from Jes Baker’s kick ass speech that started the day.

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And here are some re-caps: