Where We Are Coming From
By Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC & Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD
The arena of body acceptance and positivity is a beautiful and varied one. There are many strong and capable voices, leaders and ideas. We want you to know where we are coming from so you can:
- feel safe exploring our work
- think about it and see how it is for you
- choose what’s best for you, not from a place of scarcity and fear, but from a place of connection and resonance.
We believe everyone is entitled to the freedom to live in their body as it is, without ridicule, blame or bias. This SHOULD be a foundation everywhere, particularly in the healing professions, but it isn’t yet.
We believe health is an ideal that has been primarily sold to us, and the discussion to define health based on individual need and experience is lacking.
We believe YOU get to define the terms for how you live your life.
We believe in the vibrancy and wellness that is alive and present in you right now. We also believe the pursuit of “health” is an individual choice and is not required to be accepted as “good enough”, “whole”, or even “worthy”. Health is not a moral imperative. We believe you get to define the terms for how you live your life.
Our intention is to offer experiences that create and hold space for you to mitigate the impact the culture has on you when it doesn’t mirror your wholeness. We see and know that oppression and discrimination, as well as the furthering of the thin, cis, white ideal, has created conditions that repeatedly reinforce shame, separation from knowing one’s own voice and truth, and self-hatred that is unfounded and damaging.
We are aware of how our own privilege as white cis-gendered women of “average size” requires us to examine and re-examine the way we offer and develop our work over time. We push ourselves to be good listeners, vulnerable community members, and wholehearted human beings who are highly fallible and always growing. We acknowledge our influence in this work with humility and a keen eye on our own humanity.
We would like to see the arena of the body be a place free from self-blame, self-improvement and shame. We want to support you in healing from the ideas, the trauma and the lies that have been expressed to you about bodies, so you have the opportunity to live more compassionately in the one you have today. We see, feel, and understand that body blame and disordered eating have shared roots in the systematized body shaming happening EVERY day.
We believe there are tools and philosophies, such as Body Trust™, Health at Every Size®, Body Respect, Intuitive Eating, self-compassion and shame resilience, that can help you decide what is yours to release and/or heal. We have seen these approaches provide a holistic counter-point to the incessant prescription of weight-loss, which tends to elevate stigma, disordered eating and internalization of shame instead of improving a person’s health and well-being. We know finding safe pathways to heal, free from bias and stigma, is an enormous challenge. Part of the work we do at Be Nourished is training and supporting fellow helping professionals who would like to approach their work from a more embodied and respectful place.
We support your right to live as you choose in the body you have today. Our programs may be a way for you to move closer to YOUR very own truth.