July 1st was a powerful day for those attending our Body Respect: For All Bodies conference at the Kennedy School. Over seventy people came to hear about the new paradigm called Health at Every Size®: an evidence-based paradigm that expresses concern about the health effects of the war against obesity, and switches the focus from weight to health and well-being. The war against obesity is an unjustified, ineffective and damaging war against our bodies. NOBODY benefits when we see a healthy body only as a thin body.
Last Tuesday, we had the distinct privilege of hearing Drs. Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor explore the idea of “Body Respect” with us and the result was as inspiring as we had hoped it would be.
“Your body is not the enemy, and other people’s bodies are not the competition.” ~Lucy Aphramor
The dieter is not the one who is failing. The conventional weight paradigm is the problem. We aren’t in conscious control of the calorie balance equation. Weight regulation is far more complicated than what we are led to believe by media, the dieting industry and the medical community. An entire population of people is being profiled based on their BMI, and the consequences of this weight bias and stigma are heartbreaking. Weight discrimination is as pervasive as that based on race and gender, and this discrimination causes stress, which manifests in our bodies physiologically. Diseases we blame on weight are more closely associated with social inequality, which is why some refer to metabolic syndrome as “oppression syndrome.” Health at Every Size (HAES) encourages respect for all bodies, a critical awareness of ourselves and of our belief systems, and compassionate, attuned self-care. People may – or may not – lose weight as a result of improved self-care, but their health and well-being will surely benefit. The goals and outcomes of HAES include:
- Self- and societal-acceptance for every body
- Truth in health care
- A fair society
- Healthy relationship with food
- Pleasurable movement
- Trust in yourself and your body
Sounded pretty great to the attendees at the conference! If you weren’t able to join us, the new book Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand About Weight will be out in September. You can pre-order the book here.
This day could not have been a greater success and for that we have nothing but heartfelt gratitude for our WONDERFUL volunteers who helped make it happen! To Allie, Jordann, and Amy, thank you for your enthusiasm, your amazing butt-kicking talents, and most gracious help before, during, and after this event!! And of course, a deep thank you to Linda and Lucy for leading the charge and taking us on such a powerful journey. The waves of inspiration and wisdom you shared with us at this workshop continue to be felt. And last but certainly the most, THANK YOU to all of you who came out to explore Body Respect with us!! What an incredible day.
“Enjoy Food. Celebrate Your Body.” ~Linda Bacon
“We are not anti weight loss. We are pro-truth.” ~Lucy Aphramor