Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

Let’s Talk About … Body Acceptance With Nicole Hawkins, PhD, CEDS-S

We are all aware that we live in an appearance obsessed culture where there is often too much emphasis placed on how we look. We are told to lose weight, brighten our teeth, erase wrinkles, and tone up. Unfortunately, the constant toxic messages can lead to poor body image and even body hatred. Research indicates that focusing on what your body can do-how it functions-can lead to body positivity! Research by Dr. Jessica Alleva and colleagues examined 261 women between 18 and 30 years old and found that focusing on everything your body can do, rather than how it looks, can contribute to more positive body image. They also found that thinking about body functionality can help you appreciate your body even more! We have 19 bones in our hand, think about all the amazing things you can do with just one hand. We have 43 muscles in our face and it takes 12 muscles to smile… our bodies are awesome. Take five minutes a day to appreciate what your body can do!

Dr. Hawkins is a clinical psychologist and is the Chief Executive Officer at Center for Change.  She is a specialist in eating disorders and body image and has provided clinical expertise at Center for Change since 1999. Dr. Hawkins developed a comprehensive body image program that focuses on the media, diet industry, plastic surgery, childhood issues, and learning to appreciate one’s body, and she leads these groups for the Inpatient and Residential patients at Center for Change.  She is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (Supervisor), has published several articles, and presents regularly at national and regional conferences.

Center for Change is a place of hope and healing that is committed to helping those suffering from eating disorders break free and fully recover.  The Center offers intensive treatment for eating disorders and co-occurring issues, including a specialty program for co-occurring diabetes (ED-DMT1), and provides a full continuum of care: Inpatient, Residential, Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, and Outpatient services. Located in Orem Utah, Cottonwood Heights (Salt Lake City) Utah, and Boise Idaho, serving females in Inpatient and Residential, and all genders in PHP, IOP, and Outpatient.  Accredited by The Joint Commission, AdvancED, and TRICARE® certified.