WREC promotes body awareness


Chico State student Sydney Nguyen shows WREC staff member Mara Johnson her creation. Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

The WREC is hosting Love Every Body week to help promote self-care, body diversity and acceptance. Every day this week there will be activities in the WREC Lobby from 2 to 4 p.m.

The WREC has celebrated the week-long event for seven years and generally chooses the last week of February as it aligns with national eating disorder week.

The week’s events started with Mirror Friendly Monday, a day in which all the locker room and group exercise room mirrors were covered with positive affirmations. Furthermore, Embodied, a campus club centered on body positivity and living healthy at every size and way, also tabled in the WREC Lobby Monday.

WREC staff member Mara Johnson asks Chico State student Sydney Nguyen if she'd like to decorate a mirror with words of encouragement. Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

Treasurer of the Embodied Club Julia Young spoke on why the WREC is a perfect location to exemplify body empowerment.

“The gym is a place where (WREC users) can choose what they show to the public, so instead of showing pictures of someone who has the quote-unquote ideal body type, they can show encouragement like love your body.”

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Julia Young represents Embodied Living, The Health at Every Size Way. Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

The following day, Timeout Tuesday, included tea and socks filled with rice and lavender. The mix of rice and lavender gives off a nice aroma when heated up and can be used for relaxation.

Weightless Wednesday provides students the opportunity to take a break from a traditional gym norm as the scales are removed from the locker rooms.

Brooke McCall, Program Supervisor at the WREC, wants students to not measure their worth or value on a number and believes by removing the scales for one day, the message will be conveyed.

“You are more than a number on a scale, you are worth more than the circumference of your waist or biceps,” McCall said. “Individually that does not define you, it does not define the person you are, it does not define your success, and it should not define your workout success or how you feel about yourself.”

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Brooke McCall, a WREC program supervisor, directs the Love Every Body Week event each year. Photo credit: Mathew Miranda

Additionally, Wednesday lands on National Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying campaign, so all WREC employees wear pink attire.

Therapeutic Thursday puts an emphasis on relaxation techniques as students can stop by the lobby to paint or receive items made from yarn. The UMatter Program, run through the Counseling and Wellness Center, will also table to raise awareness of how mental health and mental illness impacts students.

Favorite Body Part Friday concludes the week-long event. Heart stickers will be passed out for people to place on their preferred body part and then pictures will be uploaded to social media with the hashtag Love Every Body.

For any students looking for events regarding body diversity outside of the WREC, the Embodied club will be hosting keynote speaker Traci Haynes and her presentation on RISE: A Creative Path to Respect, Acceptance and Empowerment from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Colusa 100B Thursday.

Ultimately, Young hopes students take away at least one message away from Love Every Body Week.

“Your body is perfect the way it is and there is an entire community of people, especially on this campus that are there to love and support you,” Young said.

Mat Miranda can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.