Find answers to key questions about Beyond the Body®
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a weight loss programme?
No. There’s no focus on weight or weight recording. Moving attention away from weight gives you space to learn how to focus on what you need from inside. That will help stabilise your eating patterns and improve your health. You can learn how to feel good from the inside out instead of trying to change yourself from the outside in. Your body will find its natural rhythm as will your weight and body shape.
Do I need to have an eating disorder diagnosis to join the programme?
No. You may have noticed I use the term Disordered Eating. This is to include everyone on the Disordered Eating Spectrum. That includes those with a diagnosis as well as those without. Many people go undiagnosed (especially those in medium and larger sized bodies). There is an assumption that only the very underweight are at risk. But serious illness from Disordered Eating can affect people of any shape and weight.
Whether you have a diagnosis or not you are welcome on the programme. If you recognise you have problems with food and you want to make a change Beyond the Body® is suitable for you.
I require a higher level of care due to medical risk, is this programme suitable for me?
The programme is not suitable for people who require a higher level of medical care due to medical risk. The programme is for those with more mild to moderate Disordered Eating patterns who do not require a higher level of care.
Mild to moderate Disordered Eating includes those of us who are engaging in Food Restriction, Binge Eating or Purging. Whether you have been engaging in Disordered Eating for several months, several years or several decades, if you are medically stable and your Disordered Eating does not pose a risk to life, we welcome you to the programme.
How long does it take to complete the programme?
As this programme is self paced there is no set time frame. We recommend 4 months as a minimum, any faster, and you are unlikely to have the full benefit of the programme. Many of us will need longer, around 6 to 9 months to implement long lasting change. You are the best judge of what feels right for you.
There are 15 core modules in the programme. A new module will be released each week. Some of us will move through the programme at this pace and others will need more time. However long it takes will be just right for you.
What does Health At Every Size (HAES) mean?
The HAES movement accepts and respects the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and rejects the idealising or pathologising of specific weights. HAES seeks to shift focus from weight loss as a health goal. HAES recognises that people can be healthy whatever their body size.
HAES supports health policies that improve and equalise access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being. HAES promotes flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control. HAES supports physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.
HAES encourages us to acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias and to provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma.
Does the programme cover the risks of Disordered Eating?
Yes. It’s important you and your loved ones understand the risks of Disordered Eating as it could save your life.
Can I work through the programme alone?
Yes. I recommend this approach for those who are self-motivated and have time and energy. However, asking a trusted friend or family member to support you can also be helpful.
Can I work through the programme with a support group or Programme Partner?
Yes. Support groups can be beneficial for connecting with others with similar lived experiences. Here at Beyond the Body®, we have our own online community where you can connect with others on a similar path. You can share your experiences as you change and grow and be witness to others on their journey.
I also encourage making contact with another member to work alongside. Having a Programme Partner is a great way to keep motivation levels high. You can hold each other accountable and support each other on more difficult days.
Can I follow the programme with professional help?
Yes. I recommend this for those with more high-risk difficulties, (diagnosed or not). You can follow the programme with professional help from a treatment team or an individual practitioner. They could be:
mental health nurses or
mental health support workers.
I recognise that you may struggle to access support in many geographical areas. Some areas are better served and offer quality up-to-date approaches to treatment. I recommend researching before selecting an appropriate professional to work with. Things to look out for are;
types of support offered
number of sessions
waiting times and
I’m on a waiting list for other treatments for Disordered Eating. Can I start this programme?
Yes. Early intervention leads to better outcomes in all cases. There can often be long waits to access treatment for Disordered Eating. It's better to start as early as you can, especially if you are feeling motivated. You can do so with the support of friends, family members or the programme community.