A while ago when researching yoga practices for plus-size people like myself, I came across a series of interviews with Linda Bacon, PhD. These interviews focused on how the war on obesity coupled with the way media promotes the idea that being thin is synonymous with being healthy has led to an epidemic of poor body image. As we now know, poor body image can lead to eating disorders, depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts and actions.
Intrigued by these interviews, I read Dr. Bacon’s bio which led me to a site called Health At Every Size and subsequently to her book by the same title. The truths that I discovered through these resources has made me rethink the way I look at my body and my health goals.
In her own words:
Interest in Health At Every Size (HAES) is growing fast. People are tired of diets, tired of feeling like failures, and tired of being scared of food. They are excited to find a paradigm that respects the diversity of human bodies and starts from the very basic premise that they can trust themselves, a paradigm that respects pleasure rather than denial.
If anyone out there is reading this blog, you might have noticed that I have been referring to Dr. Bacon and her book, “Health At Every Size,” quite a bit. Personally, I think every human being should read this book and then re-read it, study it, discuss it and embrace it. At the very end of the book, there is a section that asks the simple question, “What can you do?”
Excerpt from Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon
- Accept Your Size
Love and appreciate the body you have.
- Trust Yourself
Support your body in naturally finding its appropriate weight by honoring its signals of hunger, fullness and appetite.
- Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Find joy in moving your body and becoming more vital in your everyday life.
Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full and seek out pleasurable and satisfying foods.
Taylor your taste so that you enjoy more nutritious foods.
- Embrace Size Diversity
Humans come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Open to the beauty found across the spectrum and support others in recognizing their unique attractiveness.