3 Essential Skills
For Loving The Skin You're In!

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About Us

The Body Positive teaches people how to overcome conflicts with their bodies so they can lead happier, more productive lives. We are dedicated to inspiring youth and adults to value their health, unique beauty, and identity so they can use their vital resources of time, energy, and intellect to make positive changes in their own lives and in the world.

We deliver our Be Body Positive Model through:

Because of the generosity of our supporters, we made great strides in 2014. Here are some highlights from our work this past year:

  • We released Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!) at a launch party at Stanford University on June 1st. Proceeds from sales of 500 books purchased through a gift from a longtime supporter have gone into our scholarship fund. Sales on Amazon and other online outlets continue to expand rapidly in addition to purchases directly from us.
  • In our research project with Stanford University, we trained 21 student leaders to run 5 eight-week support groups. Final results will be published this year.
  • We conducted six Body Positive leadership trainings in California, Colorado, Florida, and Washington, D.C. for 140 student and school staff leaders. 55 student leaders received scholarships.
  • Nearly 100 people attended six Be Body Positive workshops for the general public in Berkeley and Seattle, including four on full scholarships and 18 receiving partial scholarships.
  • We reached: 400 health professionals through our new online Body Positive Psychotherapy course and in-person events; 750 parents, educators, and students through community gatherings, and many individuals heard our message through TV, internet, and print media.

This year we will greatly expand our reach as we work to end the harmful consequences of negative body image: eating disorders, depression, anxiety, cutting, suicide, substance abuse, and relationship violence. We are especially concerned about poor body image in teens and young adults. With the inspiration and skills provided by The Body Positive, those who work with us are free to live balanced, joyful, and purposeful lives, and surmount the major obstacles to achieving their academic goals and healthy relationships.


Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott, LCSW, founded The Body Positive in 1996 because of their shared passion to create a lively, healing community that offers freedom from suffocating societal messages that keep people in a perpetual struggle with their bodies. Elizabeth has been practicing psychotherapy for 25 years, specializing in eating disorders treatment. She is committed to The Body Positive’s work because it brings great meaning to her life when she can help people leave body hatred behind and become free to focus on their precious life purpose. Connie’s experience with an eating disorder in her teen years and the death of her sister Stephanie inspired her life’s work to improve the self-image of youth and adults. She founded The Body Positive in honor of her sister, and to ensure that her daughter Carmen and other children would grow up in a new world—one where people focus on changing the world, not their bodies.

Board of Directors

Jessica Diaz began working with The Body Positive as a high school peer leader in 2001. Since then she has supported the organization by helping to write curricula, developing and facilitating peer leadership trainings, writing a blog, and participating in video projects. Jessica represents the organization through speaking engagements and workshops nationwide. She holds a B.A. in politics, minors in legal studies, and music from the University of San Francisco. She also holds an MSW from San Francisco State University in the Master's of Social Work program. Her thesis project was curricula for a 1-unit masters level course entitled "Size Diversity for Masters of Social Work Students". She currently works for the County of Marin, Mental Health and Substance Use Services as a Mental Health Practitioner, specializing in adults with severe and persistent mental illness. In December 2014 she completed a certificate of Leadership from Dominican University of California, Leadership Academy from the Barowsky School of Business and Leadership. Jessica is a bilingual Spanish speaker.

Sophie Hahn is a community organizer, consultant, and activist with extensive experience leading and supporting not-for-profits, small businesses, individuals, causes and campaigns. Since her youth she has been an advocate for social and economic justice, human rights, women’s rights, education, libraries, community empowerment, and the environment. Sophie has a BA in American History from UC Berkeley and a JD from Stanford Law School, and is retired from the New York State Bar. She serves on the City of Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board and on the boards of the Bancroft Library, the Berkeley Public Library Foundation, and the Sierra Club, Northern Alameda County. Sophie lives with her husband in Berkeley, CA and has two boys ages 18 and 20 and a 16-year-old daughter. A longtime friend of The Body Positive, Sophie is dedicated to the organization’s core vision of promoting self-love, beauty, and empowerment.

Paul Hammond has collaborated with The Body Positive for several years as a creative consultant, working on videos, print and digital graphics, and the new Body Positive Psychotherapy continuing education online course. Paul and his wife, Christina Spann, recently launched a design, marketing, and consulting firm called Pumphouse Studios after selling their lighting fixture design business. Prior to his time in the lighting industry, Paul was Creative Director for Victory Technology, where he managed the production of a multimedia textbook and 50 online continuing education courses in Emergency Medicine. He and Christina are the parents of a 22-year-old daughter, Allis.

Jan Maseda is a recent retiree after more than 30 years working in the nonprofit sector. Jan began her professional career as a Paralegal, working for over 10 years in Los Angeles. After a brief hiatus to have two children, she became the Regional Director of Special Olympic Southern California for Los Angeles County, serving over 1,100 special athletes, developing fundraising plans, strategic plans and working in the community. She joined Lutheran Social Services of Southern California in 2007 as Area/Regional Director for Los Angeles County, a private social service agency serving over 300 clients per day with 14 services and programs. Jan’s work included the implementation of policies and procedures and the overseeing of all programs, development, budget administration, grant acquisition and management, public relations and volunteer structures, and working closely with the Board of Directors. She is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Tierra del Sol in Sunland, a nationally recognized community program for developmentally delayed adults, and will become Chairman of the Board in October 2015. Her community leadership has included President of Chaminade College Prep Parent’s Association, Lutheran of the Year for Southern California, the Michael W. Harahan Award for Outstanding Volunteer for Special Olympics Southern California, President, Thrivent Financial, Pepperdine University Eagle U Mentor Speaker, and Honoree of the Kiwanis Club of Warner Center. Jan currently resides in Valencia, California with her husband.

Anastasia Sheldon has a long history in the healthcare industry, starting with a massage practice in the mid 1980s and then as a Licensed Feldenkrais Practitioner. She developed a nonprofit clinic treating patients with chronic illnesses and women in recovery from breast cancer treatment. Anastasia currently lives and works in Marin with two beautiful teenage daughters, Grace and Aliyah, and her lovely husband, Jay Trimble. Since 2007, she has been a Realtor, and is currently with Marin Modern Real Estate in San Rafael. Anastasia believes The Body Positive offers a message whose time has come. She is excited to move the cultural conversation away from “What’s wrong with me?” to “This is my beauty!”