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Event to encourage health

By Ami Dave     1/27/11 6:00pm

The Wellness Center is holding a month-long event this February called "Love Your Body Month," which focuses on promoting a healthy body image. LYBM is a campus-wide campaign that will be an education and outreach program aimed at increasing awareness of healthy body image around campus. Wellness Center intern Sherry Lin and Dietician Maria Tsakalis are coordinating LYBM events. The events center around educating students about healthy eating habits.

"There will also be a focus on increasing acceptance of different body types and [expressing] satisfaction with one's own healthiest body," Lin, a Jones College junior, said, "By having numerous different programs throughout that month, the program will reach different subgroups and populations on the Rice campus."

The initiative will take place Jan. 31 through Feb. 28 and will consist of a week-long nutrition campaign and guest lectures from two keynote speakers: author Jenni Schaefer and Center for Change CEO Dr. Michael Berret. There will also be events throughout the month dedicated to increasing body awareness and raising levels of self-esteem while teaching students how to treat their bodies well.

The visibility of this campaign will range from large, attention-grabbing messages such as "Chalk the Quad Day" which will feature positive uplifting messages all throughout the academic quad sidewalks, to more intimate settings such as weekly Body Walks which will consist of small groups of six to seven members, where the Wellness Center staff, namely Tsakalis, will facilitate nutrition chats.

The month will end with the Love Your Body Monologues hosted by Jones. The monologues will be an evening of prose, poetry, film and discussion dedicated to body image and loving one's body.

"The monologues are special in that the authors are all affiliated with Rice," Lin said. "So, although anonymous and most likely not performed by the author, they all come from someone on this campus."

Lin said that the campaign is for students, by students. The issues apply to all students, regardless of gender.

Sid Richardson College Rice Health Advisor Adara Robbins said that LYBM is a fantastic initiative.

"As an RHA and also as a student, I hope the conversations that LYBM fosters are conversations that'll continue even after the conclusion of the official month," Robbins, a junior, said.

More information on the events of Love Your Body Month can be found at wellness.rice.edu/loveyourbody11.

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