I'm sure my size-acceptance and fatosphere readers have heard about it already, but I wanted to make sure my birth-world readers (who may not be as familiar with HAES concepts) knew about it too.
If you don't know about Health At Every Size (HAES) yet, the basic principles of HAES are:
1. Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes.Here is a summary about the HAES Files from the HAES blog's first post (I've broken it up a bit):
2. Recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects.
3. Promoting all aspects of health and well-being for people of all sizes.
4. Promoting eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure.
5. Promoting individually appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing physical activity, rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss.
The Health At Every SizeSM approach is about the ways that people of all sizes can maximize their health.AMEN to that!
This approach does not mean to give up or to let everything go. It is an active process by which people work positively with their bodies and within their lifestyles to achieve a level of health which is reasonable and above all, sustainable for them.
It means managing health within a framework of a life well lived as opposed to weight centric, thin at any cost methods.
It means managing nutrition and fitness within a global health framework that would include managing stress, sleeping well, maintaining social connectedness and much, much more. This is not passive, and it is not easy. It requires a lifetime of careful work in learning which foods nourish you and which leave you feeling unwell; in learning what forms of exercise strengthen you and energize you and which forms leave you depleted and hurting; and in learning to make positive, gradual changes based on self-care rather than self-hatred.
The HAES Files will serve as a means to push for a shift in paradigm from weight centered to health centered...
We have asked each of our bloggers to challenge us on how we address weight and diet and nutrition and physical activity and stigma and discrimination and ALL that our culture has deemed to wrap in a so-called “obesity crisis.”
We are no longer content with sitting in the back of the room, listening politely as policy makers, the media, and the food, diet and health industry dictate how this is going to play out. We are done asking for a seat at the table, we are taking one.
For those who are new to the idea of HAES, here are some more resources on it. There is also Linda Bacon's book, Health At Every Size, excerpts of which can be found here.
I look forward to many wonderful, informative, and empowering posts from this new resource. Go ASDAH!