In a few weeks I will begin co-leading a women's group in San Francisco called BodyLOVE: a new approach to understanding body, self, and hunger.
BodyLOVE provides a safe environment to begin the daunting task of loving your body, using nutritional education, group support, movement, expressive arts and other resources. BodyLOVE is open to women of all ages, races, sizes and sexual orientations. This is not a group for women with eating disorders, although I will be co-leading it with a nutritionist. People with more significant eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia need substantial medical and psychiatric intervention.
Loving your body is often difficult in a culture with impossible standards of gender-conforming beauty. Many people sublimate emotional and spiritual hunger into concerns about food and weight, or find refuge in "comfort food" when what they are truly longing for is genuine human connection. There are so many smart, educated, capable women who are still battling with food, body image and self esteem, still buying endless self-help books and memberships in diet programs.
True healing is not going to come from Jenny Craig, or the Zone diet, or any other gimmick. Self love is a revolutionary act.
I wish all of us could go out for lunch together. I imagine a huge room full of hundreds of hungry women, women of all shapes and sizes. We talk, we laugh, we cry, we rage, we hug each other and we eat, each one of us nourishing ourselves with exactly the foods we want, just as we all deserve to be fed.
–Leslea Newman, from the introduction to Eating Our Hearts Out: Personal Accounts of Women's Relationship to Food