Reclaim Health

The Body Positive


  • Uncover the messages that have influenced your relationships with your body, food, and exercise
  • Develop a health-centered vs. weight-centered approach to self-care


Become the authority of your own body by sorting out facts from distorted societal myths about health, weight, and identity.

The Be Body Positive Model's first core competency, Reclaim Health, helps us uncover and demystify the messages we get about health, weight, and identity from the media, medical professionals, our families, friends, and cultures. Once we clearly identify the messages, we begin to think critically about which ones make us feel good about ourselves and lead to joyful, sustainable self-care, and which ones make us feel guilty or ashamed and cause our self-care behaviors to become erratic, ultimately worsening our health.

The process of reclaiming health begins by looking back into your life to consciously understand how your current-day relationship with your body was formed. Exploring your body story gives you a good understanding of the specific messages you received that influence your attitudes about your body and your self-care behaviors today. The messages you uncover, whether they have been buried deep or remain on the surface of consciousness, exert a powerful influence on how you currently relate to your body.

One of the central tasks of reclaiming health is to deepen your understanding of the way your body works on a physiological level, especially in regard to weight. The Be Body Positive Model promotes a holistic, health-centered paradigm of health as an alternative to our society's current weight-focused model. Our model also honors pleasure and balance as essential attributes of a healthy lifestyle. We know that how we care for our bodies is significantly more important than a number on a scale. We know that sustainable positive changes in eating and exercise behaviors are much healthier than fad diets and unsustainable (weight-focused) fitness programs that lead to weight loss/weight gain cycling. We also know that shame does not lead to improved self-care for people of any size.

A key component to developing sustainable, healthy eating and exercise habits is understanding the fundamentals of Health at Every Size® (HAES), a practical and research-based health model that honors the genetic diversity of human size and shape. Unlike programs that underscore the link between weight loss and health, HAES® emphasizes metabolic fitness (a healthy range for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, etc.), regular physical activity and a balanced diet, and overall life quality as the primary indicators of health. HAES® is a growing health movement that is being adopted by an increasing number of medical and mental health practitioners worldwide.

At The Body Positive, we do not promote Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of health because we know from current research that positive lifestyle behaviors (balanced eating and regular physical exercise) are the best means to achieving good health and increased longevity for people of all sizes. We honor that people have a genetically determined set point weight range at which their bodies function at optimum levels, and that this weight is different for every individual. By listening to, and following, our bodies' cues to tell us when we are hungry, when we are full, and what foods will both nourish and satisfy us, we can easily maintain our natural set point weight range. Studies show that living this way is much healthier for the body than pursuing a specific BMI, primarily because of the weight loss/weight gain cycling often elicited by this pursuit.

Human bodies are made in different shapes and sizes. When we can embrace and celebrate this fact, turn our attention to caring for our bodies because it feels good to do so, and see beauty in all human forms, then we have a greater chance of achieving our best health.

To read about the other four competencies go to: