Thanks in no small part to social media and the internet, things that should be a given sometimes feel like, and become, things we have to fight for. For many, the idea of health at every size feels like one of those things. When you search Google for the phrase ‘health at every size,’ you’ll find a mix of support and judgment, heavy on the latter. Often the judgment is veiled behind the idea that health and wellness can only look, act, and be one particular way and is wholly quantifiable.
Here at Uplift, health at every size is a core belief and an idea that I honor and wholeheartedly promote. Let’s dig into what I mean when I write those words.
What does health at every size mean?
Your body is a precious gift, regardless of composition, age, or abilities. With health at every size, your body is honored and accepted. Balancing joy and pleasure with listening to our bodies is central to caring for and optimizing our physical, mental, and emotional health and the H.A.E.S. movement.
What does health at every size look like?
It looks like taking a walk for the joy of moving your body, feeling the sun on your face, and the breeze against your skin. It looks like movement because it feels good, not necessarily to promote weight loss, force yourself to go a certain distance, or keep a particular pace. When was the last time you enjoyed a physical activity without placing requirements on yourself? When was the last time you made a healthful decision without an ulterior motive but simply because it made you feel great?
How can I practice health at every size?
H.A.E.S. is the idea and practice of finding joy and pleasure where you are right now and balancing those feelings with listening to your body’s natural cues. It’s slowing down and finding calmness so that you can better tune in to your body and begin to care for yourself in a kind and loving way.
With health at every size, you acknowledge your body’s cues, including hunger, appetite, satiety, and energy. You also eat things because they taste good and bring pleasure, even if they may not be the most healthful choice. You balance your decisions by listening when your body tells you it’s full or it’s thirsty or it wants to move, or it needs rest.
Can I have health and fitness goals if I believe in health at every size?
Yes, you can. H.A.E.S. and health and fitness goals are not mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite actually, they are very complementary. Instead of focusing on a goal so intently that you aim to meet it at any expense, you balance goals with an understanding of your body and a desire to care for it now as well as in the future. You can still strive for and meet your health and fitness goals. You simply approach them differently and with a more holistic perspective.
I’m not sure if the idea of health at every size is for me, but I feel like something needs to change.
At first, the concept of H.A.E.S. can feel foreign. Society tells us that our body is something to be conquered and controlled. Designed, tweaked, and dressed up to appeal to others. Discovering that you can care for, accept, and even adore your body as it exists is usually new information. Give yourself time to digest the concepts and explore what it means for you.
As a nutritionist, my priority is instilling clients with a sense of joyfulness in caring for their bodies. Together, we work to achieve your best health through nutritional counseling, understanding body awareness, cooking demonstrations, and learning to design health and fitness goals in a safe and balanced way.
The tools I share with you are for life and will continue to provide value to you and your family for many years to come. To get started on your journey to a joyful, healthful future, contact me today.