R.I.S.E. Strong (Respect, Image, Self-Love, Education, and Empowerment) is a program designed for adolescent girls at the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade school levels. Through positive school presentations and community workshops, R.I.S.E. attendees leave equipped with tools necessary to value and care for their whole selves. R.I.S.E. girls are empowered to love and respect themselves and each other as they begin their journey on a happy, healthy, lifelong relationship with food, body, and self.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association (N.E.D.A., 2016), 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about becoming too fat and engaging in unhealthy weight control behaviors. With the best-known contributor to eating disorder behavior being body dissatisfaction, recent studies are showing the median onset of eating disorder behaviors as 12-13 years of age (N.E.D.A., 2016). These statistics are very real and alarming. It is our responsibility to bring awareness and education to our young ladies growing up in such a culture.
I have worked as a Registered Dietitian for 25 years with a specialization in eating disorders for the past ten years. Like most adolescent girls and women alike, I have experienced my own struggles with body image and peer pressure to “be” a certain way. Confusing messages about exercise, dieting, and acceptance plagued my own youth. It was through my struggle and journey through recovery that I realized my passion for working with adolescent girls. R.I.S.E. is a movement that developed through years of working with young girls who have been exposed to today’s unrealistic, harmful, and socially constructed messages about nutrition, fitness, image, and self.
R.I.S.E. participants will learn to listen to their body’s need for energy and respectfully respond. We call this body talk! Good vs. bad foods and “diets” are OUT! Intuitive, mindful, and balanced eating in which ALL foods fit is IN!
R.I.S.E. encourages embracing and celebrating the bodies that we are in with joyful activity. Moving our bodies is a gift, and it is our job to respect and appreciate them for all that they do for us every day.
In order to embrace body positivity, our adolescent girls need to understand the many changes their bodies are supposed to experience during this time. The puberty stage (commonly 8-16 years old) is one of the most critical developmental stages of one’s life. From growth spurts, shape, and weight changes to changing emotions and moods, their amazing bodies are maturing. We will talk about the many changes of puberty as the body transitions from childhood to young adulthood.
The one skill that took me years to develop and is an essential component of the R.I.S.E. message is positive self-talk. Self-talk is the most powerful form of communication because it either empowers or it defeats us. One of the questions I ask the girls is, “Do you always speak to yourself as you would speak to someone you love?” We explore positive, compassionate self-talk, and self-love tools like music lyrics, quotes, and journaling. The energy and camaraderie that emerges from a room full of R.I.S.E. participants is priceless. The girls amaze me with their vulnerability and courage to show up, share, and be seen.
It is said that a culture is formed by the stories the children are told. It is time for us to create a new story of self-love, acceptance, compassion, respect, and value. We have the opportunity to empower this generation with a new message. What an honor it is for R.I.S.E. to be a part of this new story.
In their own words:
“I learned that if I would encourage myself more, I could accomplish more. I also learned that I am beautiful and strong.” – 5th-grade workshop attendee
“No one can bring you down if you believe you are strong and beautiful because you are.” – 6th-grade workshop attendee
“A few things I learned from Traci are it doesn’t matter what the scale says, or the tags on your pants say. It matters who you are as a person. My favorite part was when she let us step on each other’s R.I.S.E. scale so we could complement each other for who they are.” – 7th-grade student
“Traci’s presentation helped me realize that my friends really care about me and that I am beautiful and wanted in this world. Traci cares about us even though she doesn’t really know us, she cares!” – 8th-grade student
For more information:
2020 R.I.S.E. Strong Roseville Workshop Dates:
Saturday, January 26, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 pm
Saturday, February 23, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 pm
If you are interested in more information about the workshops, please contact Traci at (530) 828-2763 or
In addition to educating through the R.I.S.E. Strong program, Traci has a private practice as a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian in the Roseville. She works with a group of specialized practitioners that have come together to provide outpatient eating disorder treatment for individuals and their families. For more information on the services offered at The Eating Disorder Collaborative, please visit our website at:
Traci Haynes, RD, CEDRD