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You Look Good
- POSTED ON: Apr 01, 2014

 

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Questions about Health & Weight
- POSTED ON: Mar 15, 2014


Does weight-loss make fat people healthier?
          Not necessarily.

Is permanent weight-loss even possible for the majority of people? 
          No.

Since neither of these questions can be answered in the affirmative, what are fat people to do?


The Weight Loss paradigm is that fat people should feed their bodies less food than they need to survive in the hope that they will eat themselves and become smaller, and also healthier.

The Health at Every Size (HAES) paradigm is that people at every size can make behavior choices based on their own prioritization of health; the path they choose; and their current situation.

Research indicates that,… although there are never any guarantees and health is never entirely within our control, … working toward healthy behaviors is the best way for us to support our bodies, rather than, choosing to use food and movement in an attempt to manipulate one’s size while hoping that good health comes along for the ride.


What is Behavior-Centered Health?
          It is a health practice in which healthy choices and behaviors are the Goal, rather than a particular size, weight, or shape.

What is Health at Every Size?

  1. Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes.

  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.
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Health-conscious?
- POSTED ON: Jan 12, 2014

If a Past Miracle were in the Present Time.. 

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Would it be Easier to be Thin?
- POSTED ON: Jan 06, 2014

We’re at the beginning of another year, and … like most people… I’ve been spending time evaluating myself and my life, thinking about my past and future goals and behaviors.

I’ve been involved in this weight-loss/maintenance struggle for a very long time. Sometimes it is harder to do this than at other times. Maintaining positive eating behaviors is more difficult for me whenever my positive eating behaviors fail to bring me positive weight results in (what I consider to be) a timely manner. This describes my current situation, which … even though I am currently a “normal” size …. makes today one of the hard times.

My lifetime path has involved a continual struggle to get and to keep my body at or near a “normal” size. I was born in the 1940s; was a child in the 1950s; and a young adult in the 1960s and 1970s; middle-aged in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, and am now old in the 2010s +. At the end of this year my age will reach the seventies.

At every weight, I’ve always been healthy. My motivation for this lifetime struggle has never been “health”, it has always been vanity. It comes from a strong inner drive, established in my childhood, to force my body to fit into the norms of the culture in which I live. Unfortunately, I also have very strong opposing desires/needs that drive me to eat a variety of foods that my body tells me are delicious, in amounts which my body turns into fat.

I find maintaining my body at a “normal” weight to be extremely difficult. Even after 9 years of maintenance, even at the very top edge of a “normal” BMI, or even within the “overweight” area, I remain in a biologically altered state, my still plump body acts as if it were starving and works overtime to regain the pounds I’ve lost. To lose and keep off weight, I, as a “reduced obese” person, must eat far fewer calories and exercise far more than a “normal” person who maintains the same weight naturally.

For many years, my Set Point has been inside morbid obesity. It might have been more normal in childhood, and even in adolescence, but over the years of yo-yo dieting it ratcheted up. All evidence indicates that an increased Set Point is a one-way-street. I am certain that becoming a “normal” weight, and maintaining that weight for the past 9 years has not caused any reduction in my personal highest Set Point. For more information on this issue, see my previous posts in the DietHobby ARCHIVES.   Non-Diet Guru's can advise Intuitive Eating all they wish, but all that does is settle a person's body into its highest Set Point.  I know from my own experience (plus watching others) that "listening to my body" and eating what I wish to eat when I feel hungry, and stopping when I feel full",...  would result in my 5'0" tall body weighing over 250 lbs again.

This past year I’ve read quite a lot of books and blogs by people discussing “Fat Acceptance”. This has made me more consciously aware that each of us can choose whether or not we buy into our culture’s standards of beauty, and each of us must decide individually whether working to become a “normal” weight is a viable personal opti...


Normalizing Obesity
- POSTED ON: Dec 30, 2013

    Here's Something Worth Saying.  
Generally fat people are shown as a collection of negative stereotypes. 

Fat people are shown as miserable unless they are succeeding at weight loss. Voices of fat people are promoted only if they have succeeded at weight loss. Voices of fat people who speak out against the idea that the only positive fat identity is a self-loathing dieter are actively silenced. 

Any media outlet, television show, movie etc. which shows fat people being successful at anything other than weight loss is immediately criticized for normalizing obesity.

The theory is that fat people will become motivated toward weight-loss if they are never shown in a positive light until, or unless, they get thin. 

Even though it turns out that most people aren’t motivated by seeing everyone who looks like them portrayed as a tired and worn out stereotype, anyone who sets up a fat role model gets accused of the crime of “promoting obesity“ or “normalizing obesity”.

Let's not kid ourselves, this isn't really about Health. So what IS it about?  Here's a clue. Maybe if society stopped shaming fat people then fat people might stop pouring money into the diet industry for a solution that almost never works.  If that happened, it would lose their sixty billion dollars a year.

I don’t buy the idea that showing fat people in a positive light will make other people want to be fat; I don’t think that a ceaseless stream of shame is doing anything good for fat people; and oppression for profit is not ok.

Let’s try a new experiment. Let’s normalize bodies of all sizes. Can you imagine if size was not an issue?  Movies with fat leading ladies, magazines filled with people of all sizes, billboards with fat people selling dish soap, a world without fat jokes, a world without articles about how Santa Claus promotes an unhealthy body image.

Take a minute to realize that everything fat people accomplish today – starting with finding the courage to step outside their homes in fat bodies -  is done in spite of the fact that fat people live under the crushing weight of constant social stigma. Imagine what fat people could do if they didn’t have to live with a ceaseless stream of societal stigma and shame -- like the government waging war on them and even enlisting their friends, families, and employers as soldiers in that "cause".

We don’t have to just imagine. We can just admit that the current plan of making fat people feel like crap about themselves isn't working. We can stop shaming and stigmatizing fat people. Let's normalize obesity, and see what happens! 

NOTE:
The article above contains paraphrased excerpts from Ragen Chastain @ www. danceswithfat

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