Where do you call home: The northwest suburbs of Chicago
How did you discover FA/HAES: I was wandering the stacks of my local library nearly twenty years ago, when I stumbled upon Nothing to Lose: A Guide to Sane Living in a Larger Body by Cheri Erdman. It changed my life to consider the idea that I could be not only be healthy but LOVED and deserving of respect no matter what the number on my dress or scale.
How did you become one of the Abundia Team: I attended an Abundia Retreat in 2007, where I had the great fortune to actually meet Cheri and tell her how influential her book had been for me. Four years later, my good friends Jeani and Rebecca invited me to meet with a group of ladies who were concerned that Abundia might not continue. Before I knew it, I was volunteering to take part as one of the new leaders.
What is your FA/HAES philosophy: That every person has value, dignity, and deserves respect no matter their size or health status. And that a huge step toward being a truly healthy, happy person is to unhook from media messages designed to make us feel bad about ourselves in order to buy stuff that ultimately won’t help so we’ll need to buy more stuff and so on.
What’s your favorite FA/HAES website or book or resource: Nothing to Lose, of course. I also can’t recommend Jean Kilbourne’s Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel enough. While not a FA/HAES book exactly, I think it’s so important to learn about how advertising, and the media overall, convince us that we are deeply flawed in order to sell their products. This manipulation is so harmful to our self-worth and our sense of empowerment and action. If you spend all your time trying to find the right hairspray to make your “problem” hair look amazing, (and believe me, I’ve done it), how will you have time to make the world, or YOUR world, a better place?
What one thing could you never give up: Cupcakes, and dogs. That’s two things.
Why are you amazingly awesome exactly as you are: I have an outstanding commitment to dessert and to trying to create a world where women love themselves enough to find the pleasure and joy in being exactly who they are, right now, no matter what the culture at large tells them is “valuable.” Also, I kill at karaoke.