So it’s been a month since I’ve been actively focussing on incorporating Health at Every Size principles in my life. So, how’s it going? What changes have I noticed? What’s good, what’s not so good and is anything just flat out bad?
From my first post there are three particular areas of HAES that I’ve been working on and I’d like to address them separately.
Diving into the Internet on the subject of bodies and fat you better be thick skinned because there’s a lot of negativity and downright hostility out there, most of it directed squarely at those of us who don’t meet the BMI standard of “Normal”.
I knew that before I got started and have to say that it really did give me pause about starting this project. It’s a big deal to publicise your experiences with being fat, particularly when you’re pursuing a counter culture idea.
That said, writing what I’ve really been thinking has helped enormously. The simple act of acknowledging my fears and resentments has been … liberating. I’m surprised how much difference such a simple thing has made to the way I feel about adopting healthier habits.
If you strip out the need to be thin and replace it with a desire to live a fuller life, turns out that’s a lot more inspiring.
I’m still struggling with binge eating and experiencing quite a bit of pain and, you know what, I’m OK with that.
I simply feel so much more centred in my body. Well, today I do anyway and who knows what tomorrow will bring.
So big tick for mental health.
I’ve been pretty sporadic with movement over the last month. I prefer to walk when I can which I’ve been doing though not routinely. I’ve been doing a pilates DVD to strengthen core muscles which I really need to alleviate the pain I experience via a collapsed disc. I’ve done the workout a couple of times, but again, not regularly.
My main focus has been on being more physically active. Gardening is my main thrust there and some days it’s good and others I do about five minutes before chucking the towel in.
I really haven’t got into any sort of routine and largely that’s because I didn’t want to engage in a specific exercise program.
I’ve changed my mind.
For the next 31 days I want to make a conscious effort to strengthen my back. In September I am going on holiday to England and I will be away from home for a month, sitting whilst travelling, sleeping in strange beds and generally being physically active. I want to enjoy the trip without being preoccupied with back pain.
I’ve decided to embrace a simple program.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will walk. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I will do pilates or yoga or something along those lines. Sunday is a rest day.
Overall my movement has increased. I’m no where near being the sort of active, involved person I want to be but baby steps I guess. I’m excited to see what the next month brings.
Eating, as always, is the biggest issue for me since I have huge anxiety about food. And dieting. Teasing out all the different tangled emotions I have about eating is going to take some time.
The first issue is my raging sugar addiction. But, just cutting sweet things out of my diet seems like a terrible idea. It would set me up to fail and create huge tension.
So, I’ve not cut anything out of my diet.
What I’ve been doing is adding. I made soup for the first time this month. I hardly ever cook and when I do it’s usually something low fat and simple (ie diet food), so this was quite the accomplishment. It was even good which kinda shocked me.
My commitment with food is simply to cook more. With more “raw” ingredients.
And keep eating regularly. After years of starving myself I’ve finally gotten to a point where food doesn’t occupy my every waking thought and I’d really like to stay at that place.
Overall I’ve been eating a fairly similar diet as previously with more focus on vegetables. This next month I’m just going to keep that up.
That’s it then. HAES is going really well for me. I feel good.
I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s also embracing HAES, so if that’s you, leave a comment!