I was taken aback after reading Jessica Weiner's recent article in Glamour magazine. Soon after, I learned of a book targeted for 6-12 year olds about a overweight girl who diets and subsequently (magically?) becomes a popular soccer player. Both were the source of much debate and discussion. Many questions recurred about the premise of the "Health at Every Size" (HAES) movement and when (and if) weight loss should be a goal. Throughout it all, one overriding theme became more apparent to me: Loving yourself means taking care of yourself.
Regardless of where we lie on the weight spectrum, our goal is health. The definition of health is ideally all encompassing and will incorporate the spiritual, mental, emotion and physical. True health cannot exist and thrive in the presence of body hate and eating disordered behavior. While health can occur outside of the prescribed "ideal" body weight and often begins with body acceptance, it doesn't end there. Lastly, true health comes from positive cognitions about ourselves, not from shame or negativity.
HAES encourages health by following the path of self love and acceptance. When we care about something (or someone), we take care of it. If weight loss must be undertaken due to medical reasons, the approach should not be through a path of fear and guilt, rather through a desire better care for the body.
Love yourself and show your body love by giving it nourishment, cleansing the mind of negativity and by engaging in movement.
Peace be with you.