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Creating a Body Positive Culture

  1. Be a Real Friend — value all people for WHO they are
    Don't comment on people's weight positively or negatively. Build your friends' self-esteem by pointing out their strengths, abilities, and intelligence, not their looks.
  2. Don't Talk About "FAT" — stop the "Freshman 15" talk
    Refrain from talking about feeling fat and relying on reassurance from others about your appearance. Using terms like “Freshman 15” perpetuates unhealthy fears of gaining weight. Assume that the people who will be your friends will get to know you for who you are, not because of the shape or size of your body.
  3. Be Assertive
    Don't tolerate negative comments about yourself or other people, especially in regards to weight. Be the one to steer the conversation away from negative body talk. Change the subject or point out other positive qualities that are more important such as personality or friendship.
  4. Work with Your Body, Not Against It
    Waiting until you are very hungry is the normal trigger for binges so try not to skip meals. Eating less than 1500 calories/day will hurt your body, especially your heart and bones. Stuffing yourself may train your body to prefer eating larger amounts. Realize that once you’re in the normal weight range, your dissatisfaction is more about shape than weight.
  5. Develop a Positive Attitude
    Confidence and personality are by far the most attractive attributes you can have. Be proud of who you are as a friend, student, or family member rather than focusing on how you look. Be the kind of friend you would want to have. Find out what you are good at and build on your strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses. What makes you special (and human like everyone else) is the unique package of strengths and vulnerabilities that you have.