We live in a world with a melting pot of people with different color skin, different color hair, tall, short, thin, round, religion, and sexuality. We are all made differently, yet society has viewed health as one type of person. This idolized person of health is not the average human walking this earth. This sparked the creation of the movement called Health at Every Size (HAES). The three ideologies behind the development of this movement are respect, critical awareness, and compassionate self-care.
→ By accepting your body for how it was made, we can begin to accept others and celebrate those differences.
2. Critical Awareness
→ Be mindful of what media and society present as “health” and what they normalize through ads, marketing, and social media. Understand your experiences and form your own values and opinions through that.
3. Compassionate Self-care
→ Emphasizes healthy habits to fully enjoy life while honoring your body. This includes engaging in physical activity, feeding yourself when you are hungry, and choosing foods in a flexible manner to allow yourself a healthy meal while also enjoying a night out.
What started as a focus on personal responsibility for health has now transcended to understand the vast difference in every person’s life. Safety and food availability are not resources that every person has available to them. If we as a society, including healthcare providers and media, begin to understand that health is not always a choice someone can make for themselves, we can have a stronger impact, improve mental health, and get rid of this flawed diet society for good.
Sometimes, self-care may not look like weight loss or increasing exercise. Self-care may be allowing yourself to eat a piece of cake that you have been restricting for months. Self-care may be reducing your gym trips to four days rather than seven, or taking a break from the gym for a few months because you feel like work is piling up or you’re not getting enough sleep or you feel distant from the family. A HAES individual understands the second component, to be critically aware. Only you know what you need at this very moment, tap into your wants and needs and serve them as best you can.
Have you tried multiple diets and feel like they haven’t worked? Do you struggle with your body image? If you find yourself struggling to connect with your wants and needs, and could benefit from some guidance or want a better understanding of what your health looks like, contact someone at AZ Dietitians today. We are here to help you find what your health at your size looks like.
Adapted from haescommunity.com