In this experiential workshop you will learn about the resources The Body Positive offers to enhance your role as a leader promoting healthy body image and resilience against eating problems in students and athletes.
“As an Olympian and World Champion. I want to be appreciated and respected for my strength, endurance, grit. As athletes our appearance can feel of equal or greater value than our capability. This can be very damaging and steer us in the wrong direction, in both training and life. It can put our focus not on what makes us stronger and more capable, but on what we perceive others value, creating stress, lowered confidence and lowered performance. The Body Positive has great value in any athletic program, enabling athletes to value themselves, focus on what really matters and discover their potential through a healthy approach to sport.”
—Catharine Pendrel, World Champion in cross-country mountain biking in 2011 and 2014
Elizabeth Scott, LCSW is Co-Founder and Director of Training for The Body Positive. She began practicing psychotherapy in 1998, and developed a specialization in eating disorders treatment. For more than 20 years Elizabeth has developed research-based curricula and trained college staff, students, and treatment providers to prevent and treat eating problems using the Be Body Positive Model.
Clint Wattenberg, MS, RD is currently the Director of Nutrition for the UFC Performance Institute. In his former role as Coordinator of Sports Nutrition at Cornell University, he initiated The Body Positive at Cornell (BPC). Cornell is currently conducting a pilot study of their adaptation of the Be Body Positive curriculum for colleges. In spearheading BPC, Clint worked with student athletes, coaches, and administrators to cultivate a coalition of support for BPC within the Cornell Athletic Department. Clint directly oversaw the training, supervision, and support of the student athlete peer facilitators who teach The Body Positive curriculum at Cornell. He brings insights learned from this intensive pilot and research program to the CPSDA Body Positive training.
Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Sport Dietitians, and Sports Psychologists are uniquely qualified and positioned to spark individual and campus change in eating disorders prevention, body image satisfaction, and healthy self-care in athletes. The Be Body Positive Model is a powerful resource to support these efforts.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder for young people. Some of the qualities that make athletes competitive can also put them at risk for developing an eating disorder. Dedication, strong-will, and perfectionism, when taken to extremes with exercise and dieting, can trigger life threatening eating disorders. Athletes rely on their bodies for physical performance, which adds a unique element to their relationship with their body image. Some sports demand that athletes be thick and strong, others thin. Judged sports like gymnastics, figure skating, and equestrian sports expect competitors to be strong yet thin, and, at the same time, meet specific ideals of beauty. Athletes in gravity sports, such as rowing, cross country running, and gymnasts, are at particular risk for eating disorders. They work to become as light as possible, putting them at risk of weakening their bodies, losing strength, and developing unhealthy eating behaviors.
Preoccupation with the body and conflicting messages from coaches, peers, and the media leave athletes confused and at high risk for body dissatisfaction. Body Image Disturbance is correlated with a host of negative health consequences including: eating disorders, compulsive exercise, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm, and dating violence.[2-7]
The Body Positive’s focus on mindfulness and self-compassion, self-respect, and excellent self-care strengthens athletes’ capacity to nourish and protect themselves while negotiating the intense demands placed on their bodies. By cultivating self-compassion, athletes improve their resilience to the stress of critical messages, intense performance pressures, failures, and injuries, forces that can contribute to the development of anxiety, fear of failure, body image disturbances, and eating disorders.
The Body Positive teaches athletes to identify and follow their own individual plan for training; the best nutrition and training practices that optimize their performance. They learn to resist training messages that cause imbalances and deteriorate their health, and to pay mindful attention to signals from their own bodies. The Be Body Positive Model supports them to accept the limits of their body type and avoid driving their weight below what is healthy, sustainable, and produces the most strength and capability over the long term.
 Smink, F. E., van Hoeken, D., & Hoek, H. W. (2012). Epidemiology of eating disorders: Incidence, prevalence and mortality rates. Current Psychiatry Reports,14(4), 406-414.
 Forrest, K.Y., & Stuhldreher, W.L. (2007). Patterns and correlates of body image dissatisfaction and distortion among college students. American Journal of Health Studies, 22(1), 18-25.
 Grossbard, J.R., Lee, C.M., Neighbors, C., & Larimer, M.E. (2009) Body image concerns and contingent self-esteem in male and female college students. Sex Roles, 60, 198-207.
 Lowery, S.E., Kurpius, S.E.R., Befort, C., Blanks, E.H., Sollengerger, S., Nicpon, M.F., & Huser, L. (2005). Body image, self-esteem, and health-related behaviors among male and female first year college students. Journal of College Student Development, 46(6).
 Johnson, F., & Wardle, J. (2005). Dietary restraint, body dissatisfaction, and psychological distress: A prospective analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114(1), 119-125.
 Cooley, E., & Tora, T. (2001). Body image and personality predictors of eating disorder symptoms during the college years. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 30, 28-36.
 Holzhauer, C.G., Zenner, A., Wulfert, E. (2016). Poor body image and alcohol use in women. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 30(1), 122-7.