Health At Every Size
"I used to believe that being a healthy weight was THE most important thing you could do for your long-term health. Something everyone should strive for. No excuses.
When the body positivity movement – with it’s acceptance of all bodies, no matter the form, size or appearance – peaked last year, it made me nervous. I had concerns that it went as far as promoting obesity as something desirable. Surely people knew the increased risk of certain diseases with being overweight! As well as the everyday inconvenience extra weight brings, including reduced energy levels.
However a couple of months ago I was introduced to the concept ‘Health At Every Size’ (HAES). This weight neutral approach to health suggests that we accept the diversity of body shapes and sizes and that wellness can be attained no matter our size; holistic wellness that is, incorporating not just the physical but the social, spiritual, vocational, emotional and intellectual parts of our lives."
"Many people see weight loss as the ultimate goal – getting to that size 10 body, fitting those skinny jeans, looking fabulous in a bikini for a tropical getaway. However when weight release via restrictive eating is the sole focus, yo-yo dieting and chronic dieting is often the result; people lose weight but then put it right back on. It’s just too hard to maintain in the long term.
Emotional health too can be affected in a negative way with such an emphasis on weight. Frustration arises – and even depression – from the constant comparison to others’ body shapes or to seeing no reduction on the scales.
Instead, when you shift the focus to health, weight will take care of itself."
"Dear women. Focus on GAIN HEALTH, not on LOSE WEIGHT. You have an inherent ability to be BEAUTIFUL”
We all have a role to play in community health, the only question is how do we play this role? Through intelligent, evidence-based inquiry we can understand how to health coach to support others in taking on positive behaviour change.