We've assembled 16 world class speakers for the HAES® Master Class! Get to know them a little better here.

Golda Poretsky (Your Host) -- The Goddess Path To Deepening Your HAES® Practice

In this class, Golda will share her top techniques for connecting with your divine feminine essence in order to begin to heal from the pain and shame of body hatred and disordered eating. These are the same ones she shares with her private coaching clients. You’ll walk away from this body love centered call with Golda’s surprisingly powerful, yet simple techniques for connecting with your divine feminine essence in order to really make peace with food and your body.

About Golda: Golda Poretsky, HHC is an outspoken advocate for the rights of a fat people. She is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a program designed for plus-sized women who are fed up with dieting and want support to stop obsessing about food and weight. Her programs and activism work have been featured on CBS’s The Early Show, ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s LX New York and in Time Out New York. She is also author of Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal, available in softcover, Kindle, and Nook. Golda’s big, fat dream is for every plus sized woman to own her power, beauty, and body, whatever her size.

Michelle Allison -- Getting Good at Eating

A tutorial on the major steps of eating competence.

About Michelle: Michelle writes the blog The Fat Nutritionist, and has a degree in nutrition from Ryerson University. She lives in Toronto and loves donuts.

Lucy Aphramor -- From Healthcare To Social Justice

This talk will cover the role of learning to challenge our thinking to promote self-care and the links this has with tackling size and other oppressions. Dr. Aphramor will look at ways in which HAES® thinking helps us look after after ourselves. In addition, by bringing others into the frame through experiences of size discrimination, understanding healthism, also helps us engage with broader issues that impact health and life opportunities.

About Lucy: Lucy Aphramor PhD RD is director of a social enterprise dedicated to promoting self-care and advancing social justice through delivering services and training embracing a HAES® philosophy. She is widely published in the field of critical dietetics and weight science.

Linda Bacon -- The Gift of Food and Weight Preoccupation

Reframe your concerns about food and weight and discover the opportunity they provide. Embracing our pain around these issues can lead to much greater fulfillment and appreciation for life. Dr. Bacon discusses the path to recovery and the science that supports it.

About Linda: Linda Bacon earned her doctorate in physiology, specializing in weight regulation, from the University of California, Davis. She also holds graduate degrees in psychology, specializing in eating disorders and body image, and kinesiology, specializing in exercise metabolism, and has professional experience as a professor, researcher, psychotherapist, exercise physiologist, and consultant. She is currently a nutrition professor in the Biology Department at City College of San Francisco and serves as an associate nutritionist at the University of California, Davis. Linda also has an active private consulting practice, advising health care professionals and institutions on strategies for implementing Health at Every Size. Considered to be a leading expert on weight regulation, Linda has published her ground-breaking research in top scientific journals. Her book, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight, has received great acclaim and is in its second printing. With a rare dual perspective combining academic expertise and clinical experience, Linda is adept at providing a link between scientific research and practical application. This enables her to bring authority and compassion to her writing, speaking and teaching.

Ragen Chastain -- But But But … Answering HAES® Critics and Questions

When people first hear about HAES®their reactions can stretch from surprise to anger. Sometimes people have legitimate questions, sometimes they are trying to be rude. Whether it’s Mom or Meme Roth, this talk will give you the tools to speak up in support of HAES.

About Ragen: Ragen Chastain is a trained researcher and three-time National Champion dancer who writes and speaks about self-esteem, body image, and Health at Every Size. Author of the popular blog, Dances With Fat and the book Fat: The Owner’s Manual, editor of the new Praeger Anthology The Politics of Size: Perspectives from the Fat-Acceptance Movement, and a blogger for NBC’s iVillage, her work has been translated into multiple languages and her blog has readers on all seven continents. Ragen is a feature interviewee in the documentary “America the Beautiful 2 – The Thin Commandments,” released by Warner Brothers in 2011. Most recently she lead the project that raised over $20,000 in 8 days and put up 6 billboards and 10 bus shelter ads in Atlanta to counter a fat-shaming billboard campaign.

Anne Cuthbert -- Debunking The Myths About Practicing HAES® When You Have An Eating Disorder

There are so many myths about what an eating disorder is and who has one, not to mention what it means to have an eating disorder. In this talk, you will learn what some of these myths are, how to separate yourself from the myths, and how to take your own relationship with food and apply HAES® principles so that you can move away from obsessing about food and return to living.

About Anne: Along with Anne's personal and professional experience with eating disorders, she is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oregon. She holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, CA. Anne's counseling experience spans over 10 years and has included studying and working with experts in the eating disorder field, teaching counseling and communication skills classes, and creating, assisting, and leading several personal growth seminars, body image workshops, and support groups. Anne is author of the forthcoming book, If Your Hunger Could Talk.

Jeanette DePatie -- 8 Steps To Getting Started With Exercise (Even If You Haven't Worked Out In A While--Or Ever)

Always wanted to start exercising but not quite sure how to go about it? Worried about physical limitations that may get in your way? Want to build an exercise program that you can stick to joyfully, triumphantly and safely? Certified fitness instructor Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick) has the program for you. Tune in for practical advice that will get you up and moving and keep you that way!

About Jeanette: Jeanette DePatie (A.K.A. The Fat Chick) is a plus-sized, certified fitness instructor and personal trainer who has helped hundreds of people who haven’t worked out in a while (or ever) learn to love their bodies and love exercise again. She is author of the award-winning book and DVD, “The Fat Chick Works Out!” and she shares her workouts live on her website. She is also co-creator of the forum at Fit Fatties with Ragen Chastain and the, co-founder of The Hot Flash Movement. Ms. DePatie has held certifications from the YMCA, ACE and AFAA for Aerobics Instruction and Personal Training. She has also completed several distance races including a half-marathon, sprint triathlon and a full marathon. She has been interviewed many times on television, radio and in print by many important organizations including NPR, The Dr. Drew Show, Fox News, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Extra.

Anna Guest-Jelley --You Don't Have To Have A 'Yoga Body' To Do Yoga: 5 Ways To Make Yoga Work For You

Have you ever been to a yoga class and they say something like "Lean forward and lay your belly on your thighs" and you think, "Wait -- my belly is already on my thighs!"? Or have you avoided yoga because you dread stuff like that happening? In this talk, we'll break down five concrete steps to practicing safely and comfortably no matter your shape or size -- including why yoga is a perfect complement to HAES®.

About Anna: Anna Guest-Jelley, E-RYT200, RYT500, is the founder of Curvy Yoga — a training & inspiration portal for full-figured yogis & their whole-hearted teachers. As a writer, teacher & lifelong champion for women’s empowerment & body acceptance, Anna encourages women of every size, age & ability to grab life by the curves. And never let go.

Amy McIntosh -- How HAES® Can Help You Live with Food Sensitivities

So you've given up dieting and are embracing the HAES® way of life - good for you! Perhaps you were just settling in to intuitive eating when you realized that no matter how much intuition you use, some foods don't sit well with you. Maybe you have been ignoring the subtle signs of food sensitivity for years and because you are now eating intuitively, you realize that certain food groups really prevent you from feeling your best. Amy McIntosh has been on many cleanses and naturopathic "diets" in her past only to wind up feeling deprived, and eventually binging on the foods she spent so much time avoiding. In this 50 minute workshop, she'll share how HAES® can actually HELP you live with food sensitivity, and learn to truly nourish your unique self!

About Amy: Amy McIntosh has had a love/hate relationship with her body since she can remember... She was on a diet by age 9, diagnosed as "morbidly obese" by age 16 -and has been told by doctors(still is) that weight loss surgery was her only hope for a healthy life. In 2003, Amy started Weight Watchers and lost 200lbs in two years, while obtaining her Master's Degree in Adult Education, from Portland State University. As the pounds came back on, she knew there were things missing from every weight loss program out there. She wrote her Master's Thesis on how the healthcare industry can better serve traditionally underserved populations. In 2011, Amy completed her studies for Health Coaching, and launched her business; "Health Hungry". It is her professional goal to be the person she found to be missing along her journey; someone who understands that health is a much more inclusive reality than calories, exercise, and body mass index.

Jen McLellan -- Your Body is Not Broken: Plus Size Pregnancy & Birth

Let's go beyond the routine "don't gain more than 15 - 20 pounds" statement most plus size pregnant women receive during their first prenatal! Become empowered and learn about resources to attain a positive and healthy pregnancy and birth experience.

About Jen: Jen McLellan became a blogger in 2011 to share her healthy plus size pregnancy and birth story to help women find the power in their bodies through pregnancy, birth, and Mommy Land. She writes about practical ways to navigate the world of plus size pregnancy within her blog Plus Size Mommy Memoirs and has a website full of resources and inspiring photo galleries at Plus Size Birth.

Lonie McMichael -- Fat Chat: Why The Way We Talk About Fat And Health Matters

How we talk about fat matters. In many ways, the “war on obesity” is a war of words, a war of persuasion, a war of rhetoric. Media and medicine used words like “epidemic” and “paradox” to create a moral panic within society, with fat people starring as scapegoats. However, we can use words to combat fat prejudice. By changing the way we talk about fat to others and to ourselves, we empower people, ourselves included, to find peace with fat bodies in the middle of this morality war.

About Lonie: Born and raised in Texas, Lonie McMichael wanted to be a writer for as long as she could remember. She found fat acceptance in 2003, while pursuing graduate degrees in technical communication and rhetoric. Graduating with a PhD from Texas Tech University in 2010, Lonie wrote her dissertation on the medical rhetoric surrounding the “war on obesity” and how such rhetoric legitimizes fat prejudice – topics which have now become two separate books: Talking Fat: Health vs. Persuasion in the War on our Bodies (available from online booksellers now) and Acceptable Prejudice: Fat, Rhetoric, and Social Justice (will be released spring 2013). At this time, she is teaching professional and technical writing at University of Colorado Colorado Springs and working on her third book about things fat.

Angela Meadows -- OMGDeathFat!!! Or Not. Debunking Obesity "Science" And What Everyone Knows About Weight And Health

Aimed mainly at the health or fitness professional, Angela will review the evidence for and against the supposed dangers of excess weight. She’ll show why the stuff that ‘everyone knows’ is wrong, and why relying on it can cause more health problems than it solves. She’ll also talk a bit about why everyone is getting it so wrong, and how to counter all the usual arguments with real science.

About Angela: Angela Meadows is a biomedical scientist with an MSc in weight management. She is a Health At Every Size® coach and founder of Never Diet Again UK, delivering workshops to women with a history of weight, food and body image issues, with a focus on health rather than weight loss. She also provides HAES® training to other health professionals.

Tanisia Smith -- 10 Ways to Make Your Wellness Service Wonderful at Any Weight

My talk is a frank discussion of ways to approach wellness services with boldness, confidence--as opposed to the trepidation that so many of us who are plus-sized may feel--and a true readiness to be served exuberantly and deliciously.

About Tanisia: Tanisia Smith holds a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University and a certification from the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, in addition to conquering the Massage Board Licensing Exam. Ms. Smith has practiced Reiki since 1992, and massage therapy since 2002. Her practice incorporates wellness services for body, mind, and spirit, including nurturing Reiki healing, custom workshops, compassionate intuitive services, and therapeutic massage sessions rooted in the Health at Every Size philosophy, which recognizes every body's wellness as attainable and unique.

Pattie Thomas -- Practicing HAES® When You're Living With Disabilities

The principles of Health at Every Size® are often tested when a fat person is also a person who lives with disabilities. But the emphasis on health rather than size becomes even more important when health issues arise. Dr. Thomas will talk about how to deal with health care professionals, family members, employers and friends if you a fat person with disabilities.

About Pattie: Dr. Pattie Thomas is a medical sociologist who specializes in aging and the life course, disabilities and the intersection of race, class and gender. She co-authored Taking Up Space: How Eating Well and Exercising Regularly Changed My Life with her husband, Carl Wilkerson. She was also a contributing author to The Fat Studies Reader. Thomas is an expert blogger at Psychology Today's website. She currently teaches Sociology at the College of Southen Nevada and is in pre-production for a docucomedy[sic] called User Friendly Vegas, a film looking at accessibility issues and universal design, using her hometown of Las Vegas as a case study.

Tiina Veer -- HAES® Meets Ahimsa: Applying Yoga Philosophy To Your HAES® Practice And Vice Versa

The Yoga world and how it is portrayed in the media has become fraught with images of "perfect" bodies doing "perfect" yoga "perfectly." The truth is, Yoga is for everyone and is actually a highly adaptable and intelligent holistic healing system. The even deeper truth is that Yoga is not really about the poses at all but how we meet ourselves in the moment. Join Tiina for this talk about how to apply several of Yoga's main philosophical precepts to your HAES practice, and if you are a Yogi or a teacher, how you can bring HAES philosophy to Yoga practice and the classroom.

About Tiina: Tiina Veer BA RMT E-RYT500 is the founder of Yoga for Round Bodies™ and Halcyon Health Wellness Studio in Toronto. She is a long-time Massage Therapist and lifetime operator of a fat body who came to Yoga to save herself from the physical demands of her work. A star-crossed love affair ensued: Tiina fell in love with Yoga but it didn't seem to love her back. Until she found the right teachers who understood her body and that Yoga was for everyone, and in turn, her own Yoga journey inspired her to become a teacher to help make Yoga more accessible to more people. She founded Yoga for Round Bodies™ in 2004, teaches weekly classes at her Toronto wellness studio, and offers certification training for Yoga teachers in Toronto and abroad.

Marilyn Wann -- Enjoying a HAES® Approach — The Pleasure Principle Vs. The Punishment Principle

It can feel uncomfortable to move away from weight-loss goals and the usual fat-blaming about health. A Health At Every Size® approach can be its own reward, if you try replacing the familiar punishment-based thinking with pursuit of pleasures. If you hope to share your new beliefs with other people, pleasure is a great convincer, too.

About Marilyn: Marilyn Wann is a longtime fat activist, author of the FAT!SO? book, and maker of Yay! Scales.™ She has been enjoying a Health At Every Size® approach for years.
Photo credit: Kelly Varner

To see a brief schedule, click here!