Being & Feeling Nourished YXE
How different would our world be if we lived in a body shaming-free society? No diet culture, no skinny pills, and no media outlets or magazines picking apart public figures or celebrities for weight gains or losses.
This is a society that Nourish YXE founder Erin Beckwell would love to help create, especially in her own community. Changing the narrative of today’s culture from body weight and size obsessed to “all bodies are good bodies” is not an easy task, but luckily she’s not alone.
“Nourish started partly out of my own journey towards figuring out how to really not hate my body all the time and frustration about constant dieting. Doing all these things that we are told are healthy but weren’t helping me… it was actually doing the opposite,” explains Beckwell.
Beckwell, a social worker, joined forces with a local body image counsellor in Saskatoon to challenge the notion that diet culture is the only way and losing weight is the key to health. “This was really revolutionary for me because I had never imagined it could be different. Health care providers, teachers, parents… everyone essentially tells us we need to lose weight or be a certain size, especially women,” she adds.
With a shift in her mindset, and looking for more information on this new way of thinking, Beckwell chanced on information about a conference in Arizona centred around being “body positive.” She explains: “I put it out there one day just on a whim, saying wouldn’t it be amazing if something like this happened in Saskatoon, and somebody commented on my post: ‘Well, why don’t you do it?’ And they know me; if you challenge me to do something, I’m going to do it,” explains Beckwell.
A small group of volunteers rallied together and 18 months later in November of 2015, Nourish YXE held its first conference in Saskatoon. It was warmly received and feedback poured in from the community. People wanted more information, more events — and more positive body talk.
Since their first conference, Nourish has put together a variety of smaller events, including their hugely successful speaker series. Launching another well-attended conference in 2017, Nourish YXE is excited for the remaining 2018 events leading into 2019. With a goal of creating inclusive communities of all people — race, size, weight and gender identity included — there is still much work to be done in how we view ourselves and others.
“Yes, it is important to say that all bodies are beautiful, but we are also challenging the reality that we are more than just our bodies and what we look like — especially for women. Complimenting each other for things outside of our appearance and creating different ways to relate to each other needs to be the new normal and taught to younger generations,” Beckwell insists.
For more information on Nourish YXE, visit their Facebook page and stay tuned for more information about their 2018/2019 speaker series workshops happening in partnership with many individuals and groups around Saskatoon.