seeking input for a size acceptance/HAES workshop

I know it’s been forever since I posted here, but I have some really exciting news!

As a project for a class, I’m facilitating a workshop/presentation/discussion called “Body Love, Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size” at my university on November 18. I’m super excited, and I hope that everyone who comes will benefit from it–so I’m coming to you all for advice!

If you were completely new to FA/SA/HAES, what kind of information would you want? I plan on showing the Fat Rant YouTube video by Joy Nash, talking about the basic principles of Health at Every Size and probably providing a list of resources like blogs and books–so any “absolutely must-read” resources would be great. I might follow the general outline of Lessons from the Fatosphere, but I haven’t put together a format yet.

I’ll focus on fatness in particular because I’m fat, but I know there will be people there who aren’t. I’ll try to talk about thin allies in the fat acceptance movement; anything else I should mention regarding non-fats? I definitely want to include the fact that thin people also face body image issues, but I’m not sure how to approach the subject.

There’s a lot of information I could include, but it will only be an hour long so it’ll be somewhat of a crash course. Hopefully I’ll be able to make the whole thing as effective as possible in the time we have. I’m thinking about having a follow-up meeting/get-together for people who are interested, too, to see if/how they’ve used this information, and maybe more discussion on the topic can come out of that.

Thanks in advance!

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October 15, 2009. Tags: , , . FA.

11 Comments

  1. living400lbs replied:

    I would include that diets don’t work in the long term for most people, and that dieting actually does lead to weight gain for many people long term. http://mann.bol.ucla.edu/files/Diets_don%27t_work.pdf is a good starting point.

    I would also summarize the results of Linda Bacon’s health at every size study, where the non-dieting group had better and more lasting health improvements than the diet group. This article is a good start: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar06/health0306.htm

    Good luck!

  2. Kay replied:

    I recently wrote two book reviews on the literary creation by Sarah Maria titled “Love Your Body, Love Your Live: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently”. The author speaks to those who are of any body size and addresses NBO (Negative Body Obsession) in relation to life, in general. I was asked to guest post on two other sites with the book reviews and I will be posting an author-written article on my own blog, Plus Figured (http://www.plusfigured.com) very soon. Wishing you the best of success on your presentation.

  3. Linda Bacon replied:

    Check out a simple two page handout called the HAES Manifesto (available as a free download) that serves as a good intro to HAES, reproduced from my book on HAES: http://www.lindabacon.org/HAESbook/HAES_manifesto.pdf. Have fun with the workshop!

  4. worthyourweight replied:

    What really sold me on fat acceptance was Gina Kolata’s Rethinking Thin, *especially* the research showing fat people eat no differently from thin people and for the same reasons: both fat and thin overeat sometimes, both fat and thin eat for pleasure sometimes, both fat and thin eat when stressed sometimes. But the important thing is that a fat person does not, on average, eat more calories than a thin one.

    “I definitely want to include the fact that thin people also face body image issues, but I’m not sure how to approach the subject.”

    This is going to sound militant, but this bending over backwards to include thin people grates on my nerves. (Not your post, just the movement in general.) My opinion is I wouldn’t worry too much about this. It seems self-esteem efforts for women already teach thin women to love their bodies…fat women can go pound salt.

    It just amazes me how FA is so concerned about their privileged allies and non-allies alike. I don’t see any other social justice movement that does that. Can you imagine a feminist workshop that included how sexism affects men? Sure, one can’t deny that men are sometimes affected by sexism against women, but why can’t the oppressed group just have the focus on their issues for once?

    I don’t mean to be all crazy ranty. I’ve been thinking about this lately, and your post interested me and sort of brought my thoughts into focus. Please forgive me if any of this came off as offensive.

  5. worthyourweight replied:

    Just wanted to add that of course my comment above does not apply to size acceptance. I was answering from a purely FA POV.

  6. nycivan replied:

    I think your ideas are great!!! please post about the presentation after you give it.

  7. Bill Fabrey replied:

    For your presentation, you might put together a handout consisting of a resource list of books, blogs, and websites for those who want to go further with it. (That will serve the dual purpose of underscoring the perceived legitimacy of what you are telling them.)

    There are many resource lists, including the one at amplestuff.com in the links section. It includes, among other things, the organizations CSWD, NAAFA, ASDAH, and ISAA, all of which represent various aspects of the HAES and the Size Acceptance (or Fat Acceptance) principles, and have good websites.

    If you list them, be sure to also list their full names, as well as the acronyms. To the uninitiated, the acronyms don’t mean much.

    Good luck!

    Bill Fabrey
    Council on Size & Weight Discrimination

  8. Raeann replied:

    at 5’5″ & 175 lbs, I don’t know what opinion I am submitting (fat or non-fat, where is that line?) but I find a lot of support and positive body image messages on sites that discuss fat-acceptance issues, and that helps me to feel good about my body. Non-fats have body issues too, as you mentioned, skinniness isn’t the only unattainable standard presented to us as the model for beautiful and healthy. There are lots of other things, like skin, height, coloring, physical features, etc that can be just as detrimental to how we feel about ourselves, and applying many of the ideas central to the FA movement can help to cope with those other things.

  9. Fat Talk on campus « Ample Proportions replied:

    [...] brown bag lecture/presentation/discussion on Body Love, Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size was two weeks ago [...]

  10. Sydney Bell replied:

    Hi – hope your talk went well. Just wanted to say I’m glad I found your blog. I’ve delivered a couple of body image workshops and facilitated a body image support group. I had been asked to give a talk at the local ywca on body image and for some reason I have been stalling…but this post has given me the motivation to get on it!

    Keep up the good work!

    • Linda replied:

      That’s awesome!

      I was SO nervous about this workshop, but it was more successful than I ever thought it would be. It was in a teeny conference room that looks like it’s meant to hold 20 people at the MOST (like, 20 is pushing it), but 40 people showed up. I’m still amazed when I think about that.

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