Opal’s origins were rooted in relationship and risk-taking. Julie and Kara started their careers together in 2004 where they paved the way in developing eating disorder treatment in the university counseling center setting, providing accessible care to the student body. They met Lexi shortly thereafter and found a similar passion and philosophy of using a non-diet and non weight bias approach to treating eating. At the time, they were going against the grain of traditional eating disorder treatment, convicted at the core that traditional approaches were continuing to do harm for folks trying to recover. This led them to taking the bold step of opening their own higher level of care eating disorder treatment clinic in 2011, that would be firmly rooted in Health at Every Size. Their passion and commitment to providing equitable care for folks of all sizes has been a driving motivation for decision making throughout Opal’s lifetime.
Since then, Julie, Kara and Lexi, through the entry point of weight bias, have lived into their value of unlearning + learning by waking up the role of racism in eating disorders. In this intersectional understanding, they are specifically unlearning the impact of their whiteness, calling upon their well worn grooves of learning about thin privilege, and moving towards centering their work towards all marginalized communities. They are committed to the healing process for all bodies and holding themselves accountable as leaders to do their own transformational work to be better equipped to serve people who don’t have the same lived experiences.
Julie, Lexi and Kara’s friendship runs deep, and they are committed to holding each other accountable through deep love to call each other up in living out their values personally. As a locally owned business, they desire to both steward their power well and relinquish power when other voices need to be centered in order to fulfill Opal’s mission.
The process of coming up with a name for our clinic was more difficult than we imagined. After poring through lists of ideas, the name “Opal” appeared to us, piqued our interest and the meaning of Opal began to deepen. We were soon convinced it was the right name for our clinic!
- The beauty within: An opal is a hidden jewel that emerges from raw rock. Its beauty is a surprise to be discovered!
- A celebration of unique spirit and diverse experience: No two of the splendid, multi-hued colors exhibited by opals are ever exactly the same; it is this diversity of individual characteristics and experiences that makes them so special. At Opal, diversity is celebrated.
- Shining a light reveals the radiance within: Opals need light to expose their beautiful colors. At Opal, we compare this notion to our belief that shedding light on what are too often viewed as shameful secrets or experiences will help healing occur. Ultimately, this uncovering will allow one to shine with more authenticity, radiance and color.
- Importance of relationships: The opal needs to be in relationship (with light) in order to shine. This aligns with our belief that relationships provide the support and connection we need to discover health, wholeness, and beauty.