My Mission? To change the conversation around weight.
Do you need help dealing with the conflicting messages around body size coming from society, the media, doctors, family and friends?
Are you angry when you are told how easy it is to lose weight, that you need to be a certain size in order to be happy? That you deserve to be shamed because of your weight?
I have spent too many years becoming increasingly angry when I witness students, friends and family taught to believe that if you are not a certain size you are worth less.
I understand. I have been there.
Who am I?
Brought up in and around New York, I studied Modern History at London University and decided to stay on in the UK.
Like 99% of women, I spent decades obsessing about my body size, yo-yo dieting, suffering poor body image – believing this was ‘normal’.
But, I now know, it is the very opposite of ‘normal’.
So, following a varied career as a 6th Form teacher (which included setting up the first Women’s Studies course) I researched and taught body issues and decided that instead of pursuing a higher degree on our ‘culture of thin’ I must do something.
This is why I founded the Weight Debate, as a non-profit organisation, in 2014.
Through my participation in the All-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Obesity, the UK Government’s Body Confidence Campaign, global tweet chats, conferences and memberships, I can steer you through the most current advice and guidelines.
How I help:
I will help you to fight back against a culture where weight stigma and fat phobia (especially post lockdown) have grown along with the weight of the nation. The Weight Debate will:
- Give you tools you can use straight away.
- Show you how to fight back against negative messages and stereotyped media images.
- Help you to improve your mental health through body acceptance.
- Enable you to understand, with compassion, the effects on you and others of weight stigma, fat phobia and disordered eating.
- Explain the complex reasons for our body’s size – why it is so difficult to lose, and maintain, weight loss.
- Offer focused support and strategies to students, health care professionals and HR departments.
Who do I help?
I have delivered a workshop on body confidence for the prison charity Bounce Back, spoken to groups on the obesity epidemic and challenged 6th Formers and other groups through talks including Is Fat (Still) a Feminist Issue? and Doesn’t Every Body Deserve Respect?
For years I have presented workshops for the London branch of Dress for Success, an international charity who prepare disadvantaged clients for employment.
I support Paddington Library’s community mental health initiative with my free public talks on the media, body acceptance and building self-esteem.
The Weight Debate also helps traditional communities/BAME groups cope with the challenges and pressures presented by western beauty ideals. My talks and blog posts highlight the issues they face and provide practical suggestions and support.
“I passionately believe that we must be active, not passive, because only then can we ultimately influence the weight debate”