Braving Body Shame is a ‘Lived Experience’ conference that will focus on the ‘Braving Body Shame’ stories of our amazing Speakers. What is their unique lived experience with body shame? How did they overcome, or how are they overcoming body shame in their life? How does body shame show up in their life? Where do they find support? These are all questions that others working through their own body shame or supporting a client/friend/loved one through their journey has come up against. We wanted to bring stories together that give insight into what it’s REALLY like for people experiencing body shame out in the world today and the unique ways they deal with them. Facts and figures are important but they are only a small part of understanding the effects that Body Shame can have on a person and how important it is for us to take in the whole STORY when working to heal those effects.
After attending a couple of in-person academic conferences, one of our hosts saw that there was a BIG part of knowledge and understanding missing from each conference. She realized that there was a great NEED for a conference that was more accessible and less academic-focused. After sharing her frustration with what was missing she decided to put a team together and create what wasn’t out there. Together we agreed that we wanted to make this conference:
EVERYONE! There will be stories about all different types body shame from a variety of speakers. All participants will take away great learning and tools to incorporate in their own lives or with clients. Everyone is welcome!!
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
LMSW and Author
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Award-Winning Actress and Ardent Body Love Advocate
Retired Advertising and Promotions Manager, Certified Massage Therapist and Reiki Master/Teacher
Black and Latinx, Intersex, Queer Non-Binary Activist
Dancer, Actress, Choreographer, Singer, Model and Influencer
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Body Liberation Artist and Activist
Fertility Coach and Author
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Sociologist, Non-Profit Consultant, and Parent to a Pediatric Cancer Survivor
Certified Body Trust® Provider and Integrative Life Coach
Virtual Assistant, Social Work Intern, and Content Creator
NutriFoodies Dietitian & Founder
Social Worker and Fat Activist
Eating Disorder Recovery and Mental Health Advocate
Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Plus Size and Amputee Blogger
Certified Body Trust® Provider and Licensed Be Body Positive Facilitator
Educator, Writer, Artist, Healer & Professor
Former Contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser
Scholar, Activist, and Masters Weightlifter.
Here is a flavor of what you can expect with this conference. Listen to the Braving Body Shame stories of our hosts.
JULIE SWEENEY is a client-centered, solution-focused counselor who specializes in supporting women in finding freedom for themselves.
Registered with the OCSWSSW as a social service worker and the ACCT as a Master Therapeutic Counsellor, Julie offers openness, honesty, and a willingness to be part of your journey in a way best suited to your needs.
Through a HAES-based lens aimed at helping clients feel less alone in their struggles with body image, Julie offers women the opportunity to develop new skills and ways of thinking. Outside of her specialty with body image and self-esteem, she also works with clients experiencing anxiety, focusing on self-care and changing negative coping habits.
“I know the struggle. I lived the struggle. I beat the struggle. And with my guidance, you can, too. I decided to go into this field to help others create their own change – not from a place of self-importance, but from a place of self-awareness. Because of my experience in processing my own anxiety, depression, and body loathing, I help others from a very personal perspective. It’s been a journey for me – and it will absolutely be a journey for you – but I believe that together, we can do it.”
Julie is located in Frankford, Ontario and works with clients one-on-one, in workshops, and in groups – both in-person and online.
ALICIA WOROBEC shows people how to find peace with food again so they can leave yoyo dieting in the past for good. She helps people find freedom and comfort in the skin by showing them that no dream or goal is dependant on their shape or size.
As a Registered Health Coach and a Certified Intuitive Eating Facilitator Alicia uses a Weight Neutral and HAES based framework to help her clients focus on their health holistically taking into account the physical, emotional and mental aspects to ensure they reach their health goals while also maintaining balance, compassion, and respect for their bodies. Alicia helps her clients reach their goals by combining support, accountability and stretch to help them make the necessary Mind Shifts to change habits and focus on what's going on internally rather than focussing on changing their outward appearance.
"I know the emotional weight that comes from trying to be the person you think everyone else wants or needs you to be. I struggled for so long never truly feeling like I was enough because of the physical weight as well. I didn't think I deserved to live out all the goals and dreams I had for myself because of the size of my body. I have learned how to live an amazingly happy and full life now that I understand and believe that my size does not dictate or determine what I get to have or experience in life. I strive to help each and every one of my clients achieve this belief in themselves as well."
Alicia is located in Victoria, B.C. and works with clients one-on-one, in workshops, and in groups both in person and online.
Ani Janzen (she/her) is a fat activist based in Minneapolis, MN. She founded the Twin Cities Fat Community, a group of fat folks working towards fat liberation through community and activism. She is passionate about bringing fat folks into movement practices, and gets to do just that as a yoga teacher and Fat Girls Hiking ambassador for the FGH Minnesota chapter. She founded the nonprofit Radical Health Alliance to bring services based in HAES principles to larger people and educate medical professionals to better serve larger people.
She is currently pursuing a Master's in Public Health Nutrition and completing her dietetic internship. She has a BS in Dietetics.
Stepping into Braving Body Shame