Health at Every Size – Understanding the HAES Movement￼￼
As a woman who has been living in a fuller size body for about ten years, I began to question the theory that smaller is better. As a young woman I never worried about my weight, but once I saw the number on the scale climb, my perspective changed. Just like the numbers did. Last week I took a trip to what I call “Roll Tide Land.” For you Auburn fans, stay with me, this is not about football. I heard a fellow dietitian make a comment that shocked me for a moment. She said, I quote, “I would have never seen the different body types I see today when I was a student here in the eighties.” The body types she was referring to were body types like mine, full, voluptuous, and beautiful. Now, before you get upset and form your choice words for my peer, she also stated this sentiment, “I love what I am seeing, society is finally accepting larger bodies as the norm.”
Diet culture is nothing new in our society and societies around the world. The concept that being thin is healthy and being fat is unhealthy is a concept that has been distributed as far back as the 1800’s. Over the next few months, I want to expand my understanding and yours concerning the truth behind health, body size, and how people can be healthy at every size. Whether skinny, fat, chubby or small, health is not determined necessarily by your weight. It is determined by your lifestyle, genetics, and understanding. Using a holistic approach to improve your health doesn’t necessarily include losing weight and maintaining a societal accepted body type. What it does include is awareness, empathy, and acceptance. As a dietitian, I want to have the ability to empower my clients to improve their overall health outside of shame, guilt, and disappointment. I hope you take this journey with me as we discover together what Health at Every Size means in our pop culture today.
Written by: Tammie S. Brown
Registered Dietitian and owner of
Restoring Bodies Fitness & Nutrition Services
Tammie, I love this article. I can’t wait to read your next installment on this topic.