What is Body Trust®?
Body Trust is a radical revisioning of what it means to occupy and care for your body. It is a pathway to acceptance of the body, an alternative dialogue to the conventional paradigm of food, body image, and weight concerns in our culture. Body Trust is paradigm shifting work that invites bravery and fierce body compassion.
Body Trust is a healing modality — a way out of the predictable, repetitive pattern of dieting, disordered eating and weight cycling that is fueled by body shame. Body Trust is the proprietary foundation of all the work we do here at Be Nourished, the core underpinnings of the rest of our work. Heavily informed by Health at Every Size®, our work has been greatly influenced by social justice and intersectional feminism, intuitive eating principles, shame resilience theory, motivational interviewing, self-compassion theory, relational cultural theory, mindfulness-based approaches, and post-modern therapeutic thought.
Body Trust is weight-inclusive. This work is for all bodies. There isn’t a different set of rules for you, no matter how much you might feel different, isolated, broken, or in need of fixing. Body Trust is an invitation to be part of a new conversation about bodies, one that nourishes and celebrates who we are and who we can become, including every way we show up in the world. We want you to know we trust your body, regardless of your size. More importantly, we trust you with your body. No exceptions.
Body Trust is a birthright. You were born with an inherent trust for your body. Somewhere along the way you became disconnected from that way of knowing. Body Trust is disrupted by trauma, oppression, illness, and social constructs of gender, race, beauty, health, and weight. We often come from lineages of people that have been disallowed body trust. Body Trust is an invitation to return to a relationship with your body and yourself that you want to be in for your lifetime—flexible, compassionate and connected.
Body Trust is a reclamation. Of pleasure. Of knowing. Of wanting. Of listening. Of your own damn self. Body Trust work is a process of reclaiming our bodies after they’ve been harmed by stigma, diet culture, shame, difference, and othering, and then further distanced by our attempts to mitigate that harm by trying to control the size, shape or appearance of our body.
We believe that every body benefits from weight-neutral self-care.
Body Trust is repair work. We are healing our relationship with food, our bodies, and ourselves. Just like when you’ve lost trust in any relationship in your life, it takes time to get it back. When it comes to Body Trust, this trust is reciprocal—you are working on trusting your body and your body is working on trusting you to give it enough to eat consistently. We cannot heal our relationship with our bodies with a plan to make them into what the dominant culture thinks they should be.
Body Trust is a homecoming — a return to the innate wisdom of your own embodied experience — your body’s messages, cues, desires, hungers, and rhythms, knowing that access to this wisdom will vary for everyone over time depending on how much resourcing is available. Much of what we are taught about living in a body is about doing things to and on the body instead of for and with the body. When the very wise ways we’ve adapted and coped for our own survival run counter to the mainstream idea about what a good person or good body should be or do, we are presented with an impossible choice: become buried in shame and self-blame or choose an identity that limits our ability to know and express who we truly are.
Body Trust is liberatory. Our bodies cannot breathe when they are overtaken by cultural demands for assimilation. Our stories and bodies are too complex, too varied and too underexpressed to fit into a simple narrative about disordered eating, or body size, or skin color, or gender. Claiming our bodies is an act of resistance. Resistance does not always resolve oppression but it does bring us closer to humanity and connection. Body Trust is a move towards truth and freedom and a way to enforce boundaries around the prescribed stories and values that do not allow you to heal and know your own truth.
Body Trust is a practice. So much of what we desire to bring into our lives takes time and practice. Body Trust is not a new plan, a gimmick, or a short-term solution. It’s a way to truly heal—an opportunity to focus on finding joy and pleasure again, as you turn your attention towards the parts of you that perhaps you lost sight of while dieting or trying to fix yourself. Body Trust is not a place we arrive, but a connective energy we cultivate. It is an ever-evolving relationship that changes with our healing, our complicated lives, and as we age.
Explore Body Trust with our free downloadable workbook.
What does Body Trust work look like?
When we are new to this work, it is so easy to get knocked down because we don’t have very deep roots. Many find themselves back on another diet before they remember they have lost their tolerance to dieting and they just cannot do it anymore. Body Trust is a place to return to. And the healing is in this return—not in never having wandered—but in coming back again and again and again. Over time, you’ll notice the roots of your Body Trust practice deepening. And the day will come when not doing Body Trust will be harder than doing it.
By now, you’ve probably realized just how different this healing work is, and that it’s going to take some time to develop a Body Trust Practice. We’ve created this image to help people visualize the phases we go through in this work. Just like grief, healing is not a linear process. One phase does not necessarily end as the next begins. They may flow into each other, overlap and recur.