Up there, under the title, my banner begins: "A lifestyle of Health at Every Size"... So what is this "Health at Every Size" I refer to? So glad you asked!
Health at Every Size (HAES) is:
A set of beliefs -- including:
• There is a wide variety in natural body shapes & sizes; all are "normal".
• There is beauty in bodies of all sizes and shapes.
• Human worth is unrelated to body size and shape.
• Health/well-being include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects.
• Health is not defined by weight loss or achieving a specific "ideal weight."
• People of all sizes deserve all aspects of health/well-being.
• Healthful eating balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure.
• Dieting for weight loss is ineffective and dangerous.
• A normal relationship with food is relaxed, peaceful, and based on internal cues.
• Healthy physical activity is individually appropriate, enjoyable, and life-enhancing.
• Joyful movement for its own sake is healthful; exercise for the sake of weight loss is not.
A perspective -- when you look at your life through lenses that disconnect "health" from "size", you begin to make choices in your daily life motivated much more by what feels right and good to your own body and being, and much less by the opinions of people and things outside you.
A lifestyle -- when you leave behind the dieting mentality, and begin to embrace the HAES beliefs and make choices from the HAES perspective, the whole tone and quality of your life shifts. Free from the enslavement of the scale and calorie counting, you begin to find pleasure in simple everyday activities such as dressing, eating, moving, relating to other people; you find joy where it could not be felt before.
A movement -- a growing group of health and wellness professionals who believe that people of all sizes can live healthy lives, and that the purported links between fatness and poor health are grossly exaggerated -- to the point of mythology -- in our current culture. Many HAES professionals -- including yours truly -- will be gathering at a meeting in June -- in part to further define and organize HAES.
NOTE: Much of the language of the HAES beliefs above is my own, representing my own best current understanding of the tenets of this evolving movement. These statements are compiled from several sources, including: Association for Size Diversity and Health; The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, and Jon Robison. I make no claim that these tenets are in any way official, or fully representative of the original authors' opinions. Neither am I authorized to speak on behalf of the HAES movement.
Stay tuned... you'll be hearing much more from me about HAES in future posts. In the meantime, what questions do you have? This is pretty radical stuff, pretty much contradicting much of what you're reading and hearing these days -- so what resonates for you here? What do want to know more about?
Love & AmpleHugs,