Exhale

I’m behind the times. The Health At Every Size movement has been around for years now, but I only heard about it a few weeks ago. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found it. Well, wait. Yes, I can tell you how glad I am – and I’m about to.

In a nutshell: Healthy At Every Size (HAES) is about accepting your body. It’s about moving for the joy of it. It’s about listening to your body’s cues when it comes to eating. And it recognizes that health and happiness are affected by social, emotional, spiritual, and physical factors.

At a deeper level, HAES addresses issues that I thought might be just in my head (and that the diet industry certainly doesn’t want me to believe): That I can be fit and fat at the same time. That there are genetic and biological factors behind body weight. That dieting is often more harmful than helpful.

I won’t go into all the details of HAES here. Visit the website (http://www.haescommunity.org/) to learn all about the movement. I highly recommend reading Linda Bacon’s book, too. I highlighted nearly half the pages when I read it!

I’ve spent the better part of a decade getting healthier – and there’s no end in sight. But, as you know, I’m still fat. Here are a couple of facts about my fit-and-fat life: I gave blood yesterday, and my resting heat rate was 58. I spent an hour and a half swimming in the pool last night. And today for breakfast I had greek yogurt mixed with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

HAES is truly about not judging a book by its cover. Finding it has made me feel like I let out a breath I was holding for the past ten years.

Sadly, some people think that HAES is about being lazy and slothful and using the movement as “an excuse” to be fat. In truth, HAES is about living well, about accepting yourself and embracing a healthy lifestyle in terms of both food and movement. I think that HAES is a wonderful set of guidelines that every one of every size should embrace. Take a look and see what you think.