Health At Every Size Defined
There seems to be quite a heated discussion happening in the nutrition, wellness, and "healthy life-style" media these days. The words Health At Every Size (HAES) and Intuitive Eating (IE) have become either new taglines for diets in disguise or philosophies to be shamed because they're viewed as promoting self indulgence and "giving up" or "letting go" on taking care of ones self. Either of these assumptions could not be further from the truth.
Myth Dispelled: HAES does not mean "healthy" at every size. It does not mean that no one in a thin body gets heart disease, diabetes, or cancer just as it doesn't mean that everyone in a larger body will have these diseases. Correlation does NOT mean causation!
Truth: HAES means supporting bodies of all sizes to make the life-style choices that promote self care and ultimately health for that individual regardless of their size, shape, age, sex, capabilities, or socioeconomic status.
Myth Dispelled: HAES does not mean "giving up" or "letting go" of the pursuit of health. Rather it encourages people to take a hard look at what current thoughts, beliefs, or stigmas they may be experiencing that keeps them in an unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies.
Truth: HAES promotes balanced eating and movement based on what someone needs in that moment. For example, one day someone may crave a salad with tofu, garden fresh veggies, and herbal tea just as the next day they may desire a juicy burger with all the fixings, fries, and a milk shake. There may be days where the body needs rest just as there may be days when the body needs more strenuous activity. Through curiosity and self-compassion, we allow ourselves to tune into our intuition, our internal wisdom to guide us in making these daily, hourly, minute-by-minute decisions for our health.
How does this all sit with you? I'd love to hear what questions come up for you in reading this definition or what resonates with you. I welcome your responses! Visit Alpine Nutrition to connect.