Love Your Body week takes over campus

Marissa Montoya

In support of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Sacramento State is celebrating its seventh annual “Love Your Body” week, offering several exciting and educational events and presentations organized by the Student Health and Counseling Services, peer-health educators, Eating Recovery Center of California and several other departments on campus.

“This week of events celebrates our bodies in all their varieties: size, shape, color, gender and abilities,” said Jennifer Burton, health educator at Sac State’s Student Health and Counseling Services Center and a leading organizer of “Love Your Body” week.

The bathrooms on campus were a bit less reflective on Monday Feb. 23 thanks to the return of Mirrorless Monday, a day that aims to decrease the emphasis placed on outer beauty and vanity.

Burton explained that, as a health educator, one of the biggest concerns for students is related to body image: ranging from low self-esteem and negative body image to unhealthy relationships with exercise and eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and binge eating.

The week continues with a presentation from Dr. Tony Paulson of Sierra Treatment Center of Sacramento.

Paulson is also a professor at Sac State, author, and professional speaker dealing with eating disorders and body image issues.

“Negative body image typically comes from a low self-confidence and self-esteem,” Paulson said when discussing advice for someone with a negative body image. “Your body image will never bring you sustained happiness. Focus instead on recognizing the positive qualities you have as a person, not as an object.”

Paulson said his presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 24 should help students understand the factors that contribute to negative body image and various ways of developing a more positive way of viewing and relating to your body.

At noon, student-led cooking demonstrations taught attendees the art of cooking spaghetti squash primavera, spinach fruit salad and “guilt-free” chocolate truffles.

Wednesday offers a chance to rejuvenate the tornado that is the college student’s overloaded brain by partaking in a mindful yoga class and body image discussion.

Thursday brings back the popular presentation from Dr. Patty Woodward, a human sexuality professor at Sac State titled “Where’s My Orgasm?”

“The answer is yes,” Woodward explained when discussing when discussing whether women enjoy sex. “Mostly, unless they aren’t happy with their relationship or have a problem associated with sexual pleasure. Overcoming the stigma, well we just have to keep talking about it. Talking candidly helps.”

“Love Your Body” week wraps up in the library quad where students can take the “Love Your Body” pledge.

“The goal of ‘Love Your Body’ week is to promote positive body image, eating disorder awareness and healthy lifestyles for our Sac State community,” Burton said. “We encourage students to take care of their bodies both physically and emotionally. The pledge is an opportunity to empower students to incorporate healthy choices into their daily lives.”

For information about “Love Your Body” week or dealing with health or body image concerns, visit Student Health and Counseling Services located in The WELL.