I returned from the first ever conference of the Binge Eating Disorder Association all fired up…again…about the value of the tenets of Health at Every Size as guiding principles in helping our society overcome the current epidemic of body dissatisfaction and related disorder eating/eating disorders. Research continues to point to how changing our thinking to align with these tenets can help us end emotional eating and begin to adopt a truly healthy lifestyle, one that makes us feel well and is truly sustainable.
In coming weeks, I’ll be reviewing some of that research, as I will also briefly do at the upcoming FitBloggin’ conference next weekend. But today, I just want to revisit the tenets. They speak for themselves.
- Size & Self Acceptance — respect and appreciation for the wonderful diversity of body shapes and sizes (including our own) rather than the pursuit of an idealized weight or shape
- Health Enhancement – attention to emotional, physical and spiritual well-being without focus on weight loss or achieving a specific “ideal weight”
- The Pleasure of Eating Well – eating based on internal cues of hunger, satiety and appetite and individual nutritional needs rather than external food plans or diets
- The Joy of Movement - encouraging all physical activities for the associated pleasure and health benefits rather than following a specific routine of regimented exercise for the primary purpose of weight loss
- An End to Weight Bias - recognition that body shape, size and/or weight are not evidence of any particular way of eating, level of physical activity, personality, psychological issue or moral character; confirmation that there is beauty and worth in EVERY body
Health at Every Size is often understood as just accepting what is. And in part it is that. But it is so much more. It is truly about taking care of ourselves, to be the best we can be. For me that’s a wonderful thought to start my weekend.
What are you going to do for yourself this weekend to take care of you?
P.S. For another discussion along these same lines, check out Nutrition Unplugged’s review of “skinny” diet books which features a few comments from me.