Transform Your Relationship with Your Body & Health
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2024

Transform Your Relationship with Your Body & Health

Weight stigma, its impact on health and wellbeing and the power of self-love is the focus of a free community event this month, sponsored by Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC).

The Fat and Fabulous Speaker Series will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20 and Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6-7:30 p.m. at SVMC’s Bennington campus, featuring different experts on the topics of body positivity and radical self-love.

Studies show that weight stigma damages mental well-being, weakens physical health, and decreases life span by 60%, regardless of an individual’s BMI.

“In my clinical practice, I have seen many of my patients struggle with the health impacts of stigma against their weight,” said SVMC’s Kimberely J. Sampson, MD, MSc, FACOG, DipACLM, DABOM, who specializes in OB/Gyn, lifestyle medicine, obesity and weight management, with a special interest in weight bias. “In the realm of well-being, let’s reshape the conversation without bias. Shattering stereotypes, let’s redefine the anthem of fabulous. I encourage you to join the fat and fabulous speaker series as we celebrate diverse stories on the journey to health and empowerment. “

The Fat and Fabulous Speaker Series is being organized by Emma Crowell, a Volunteer In Service to America (VISTA) Fellow at SVMC. VISTA is an AmeriCorps program that provides needed resources to nonprofits through a year-long fellowship. Crowell is working in partnership with SVMC and Dartmouth Health’s EmBody employee resource group to bring these issues to the forefront and give people practical tools to shift perspectives.

“I created this speaker series because weight stigma is ignored on such a cultural level,” said Crowell. “We’re surrounded by people telling us that our bodies aren’t good enough, and it’s exhausting. It’s taken me years to be able to shift my perspective away from hating my body to embracing it, and I want to help others reach the self-love that they deserve.”

The series will feature two thoughts leaders in this area, who will attend the sessions virtually. Attendees are encouraged to come in person, to ask questions and build community. A virtual option is available for those unable to attend.

Tuesday, Feb. 20 – 6-7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Serena Nangia is an educator for Project HEAL, a national organization that works to uplift the voices of People of Color and Fat people. Serena’s community workshops provide real world methods to tackle weight stigma and fatphobia.


Thursday, Feb. 22, 6-7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Bobbi Reidinger is an instructional designer for the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Kent State University. She has written extensively about weight stigma in the workplace.


RSVPs are required to this free community event. Please visit our registration page to confirm your attendance to one or both of the events. Both speaker events will be held at SVMC, 100 Hospital Drive, Bennington, VT in the Seminar Room. A virtual option is available upon request. 


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