So I dug out my copy of Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon last night and found my place and started reading.
It turns out I’m already doing it wrong.
The basic premise and first step in a HAES program is to uncouple healthy living from weight loss. Me warbling away about how this feels just like every other diet I’ve ever done pretty much highlights my inaccuracies regarding the program and it’s intentions.
I’m meant to be making lifestyle changes.
Hah! How many times have you heard that. It’s not a diet, its a lifestyle change! Yeah, still like every other diet so far.
Living a health life to me is eating salad and exercising flat out every single day in order to change who I am so that other people will quite hassling me. Its so profoundly depressing.
Intellectually I understand that the only thing you can tell from looking at a person is the size of their body, and possibly how deep your own biases run. People are the weight they are for a huge number of reasons including biology, environment and personal lifestyle. Lifestyle seems to be the lesser indicator since two people can have very similar lifestyles and yet be vastly different in size and shape.
Whilst I can intellectually separate these ideas out its harder to let go of internalised beliefs.
This for me then is my first challenge.
How do I uncouple food and exercise from weight loss?
I’m going to need to read more of my book.
Until then I’m going to go about life how I usually do. Which is to eat what I want to eat, when I want to eat it and exercise if and when something presents itself that I want to do. Otherwise known as living life.
What’s not included in a HAES lifestyle is the crippling guilt and feelings of unworthiness because I eat chocolate regularly and have more than a passing affection for cheese. Or an absolute conviction that life would be better if only I were a bit skinnier.