Health at Every Size (Updated)
As many of you know, after 10 long years of dieting and trying to morph my body into something it, quite simply, is not, I’ve given up my pipe dream. Alas, I’m not going to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. I’m hard at work at Intuitive Eating, learning to trust my body, myself around food, and handle my emotions (rather than binge eating).
In my spare time, I’ve been reading every book I can get my hands on and joining every group, subscribing to every newsletter, about Intuitive Eating. Currently I’m enrolled in an 8-week program called Total Immersion Intuitive Eating with coach JoLaine Jones (don’t you just love that name?) of Genuine You Coaching, honing my self-love skills.
However, during my search, I came across an incredible movement called Health at Every Size (HAES), started by author Linda Bacon, PhD. What is this movement? According to Bacon’s book, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight:
Let’s face facts. We’ve lost the war on obesity. Fighting fat hasn’t made the fat go away. And being thinner, even if we knew how to successfully accomplish it, will not necessarily make us healthier or happier. The war on obesity has taken its toll. Extensive “collateral damage” has resulted: Food and body preoccupation, self-hatred, eating disorders, discrimination, poor health… Few of us are at peace with our bodies, whether because we’re fat or because we fear becoming fat.
Health at Every Size is the new peace movement.
Very simply, it acknowledges that good health can best be realized independent from considerations of size. It supports people—of all sizes—in addressing health directly by adopting healthy behaviors.
The HAES movement encourages people of all sizes to improve their health through improving, and honoring, their relationship with their body. We should adopt a healthy lifestyle out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for our body, not to be a number on a scale or a size tag inside our pants.
As someone who has struggled with body image, binge eating, and dieting for much of my young adulthood, this is something that truly resonates with me.
I encourage you to check out the HAES website, sign their pledge, join the community, and start taking steps to love yourself…and others…totally and completely.
UPDATE: I am honored that Linda Bacon PhD herself has commented on this post. Truly in awe! The correction she made is that the HAES movement has been in existence before Linda did her research and wrote her book, and she is just one of the many “freedom fighters,” as she calls herself and her colleagues, working to get the Health at Any Size Message out there. Thank you, Linda!