The 6th Annual Walk to REbeL was already 3 weeks ago today, but we’re still celebrating.
We had a BLAST, and if you were able to join us, we hope you did too! We were blessed with beauty-full weather and a crowd of over 800 students & Chapter Sponsors, family members, pets, and REbeL supporters of all ages from all around the KC metro area!
Every year, we’re blown away by the turnout at this event and humbled by the magnitude of the support for our organization in our local community. What stands out this year, as we look back on the event and as we scroll through the hundreds of photos taken and the Be Your Self-ie’s posted on social media, is the number of REbeL students, Chapter Sponsors, and families we had in attendance from afar who were able to experience this event for the very first time. We consider this to be one of our greatest successes this year — a sign of the growing REbeLution.
We were joined by Basehor-Linwood High School; Warrensburg High School; Lee’s Summit West High School; Moreland Ridge Middle School from Blue Springs, MO; and Lewis Central Middle and High Schools who traveled all the way down I-29 from Council Bluffs, IA to be part of this event.
Each of our REbeL chapters — even our local chapters — operates relatively independently, but the Walk to REbeL event helps remind them that they are part of a much larger picture, a crusade for change that started as so many great things do, an idea and a passionate few. REbeL is spreading because what we do is needed and because there are so many people who too are hungry for change. With the growth of REbeL into more schools, other cities, and other states, we realize now more than ever that we’ve created something important, something lasting. We’ve created a movement. And that is worthy of celebration.
By Jessica Betts, MS, RD, LD
REbeL Program Director
Imagine you had a friend, and 24 hours a day, this friend was working for you, doing all kinds of really important things. Imagine your friend was holding you up, helping you walk, breathe, laugh, sleep, read, see, dream, hear sounds, touch things, feel love, pump blood into your veins, digest food, and countless other miracles.
Imagine after all that help and non-stop work, your response was to criticize this friend, call them names, and tell them you don’t like them or even that you hate them. Can you imagine that?
Well this is what many people do to their bodies. Our bodies work constantly for us, 24/7; and thanks to the media injecting unhealthy, unrealistic messages into our minds, every single day, most of us are not only forgetting to thank and appreciate our bodies for all that they do, but walking around hating the amazing bodies we live in. Some kind of thanks that is!
I began hating my body when I was a teenager. This led me to a decades-long, unpaid career of dieting, overeating and obsessing on my poor, unappreciated body. Thankfully, after many years and tears, I found the help I needed. I learned over time, how to treat myself with kindness and compassion, and I learned how to eat real food in moderate amounts. And now I have the honor of helping others do the same.
I realized recently that while my body must be infinitely more content with the treatment it receives from me now, I felt like I owed it an apology for all the decades that was not the case. So, I wrote A Body Apology. I thought I would share it with you in the hopes that you might join me in one of your own.
Andrea Wachter, LMFT
Andrea Wachter is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and co-author of Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Breaking the “I Feel Fat” Spell as well as The Don’t Diet, Live-It Workbook. She is also author of the upcoming book, Getting Over Overeating for Teens. Andrea is an inspirational counselor, author, and speaker who uses professional expertise, humor, and personal recovery to help others. For more information on her books, blogs and other services, please visit her website.
I walk to be supportive. Supportive of my daughter who believes so much in the REbeL cause. Supportive of all the young women and men who need to receive the right message about themselves and about their physical and mental health. To support an organization that spreads such this important message.
When my daughter got involved with the REbeL chapter at her school, I didn’t fully understand what the organization was about. Over time, as she has gotten more involved and has become a leader among her peers, I now understand how very important the organization is. We need to continue to help our children celebrate their individuality. As parents, we need to promote positive body image at home. We need to reinforce to our children that they do not need to measure up to society’s expectations. They do not need to achieve perfect. They need to question whether perfect exists & why we strive for it. They need to achieve balance. And they need to aim for happiness – figuring out who and what they are and practicing self-love.
REbeL is the answer to all these young people who struggle to “fit in” – a gathering of teens who discuss these matters in a positive environment and then become role models for their peers who are struggling.
I am very proud of my daughter’s involvement in her REbeL chapter, and I believe she will continue to be an activist and attend events in the future, well after she finishes high school. And I will also make an effort to continue to support REbeL in any way I can. I encourage you to do the same.
To register to join the Walk to REbeL on Saturday, May 7th, click here: http://bit.ly/1LyffLo