This morning I made an important decision. I took the Healthy at Any Size Pledge.
From the HAES Community Website:
Health at Every Size is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control). Health at Every Size encourages:
Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.
Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.
Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital.
This is an idea that has traveled with me on my journey through life from time to time, but I have always allowed my self to be drawn back into the cycle of guilt and body shaming. It is very easy to do in our society . For a while now I have seen links to the HAES website, and I have visited it and thought about taking the pledge, but there were all these buts. I started trying to get out from behind the camera and in front of the camera to help develop a healthy self image. That was a good start. It got me exercising and looking into diet and eating. Yes, I was still thinking about dieting. I had my yearly physical and my doctor suggested that I look into a weight management program, which I did. It turned out to be a program for a packaged diet and if that failed, a gastric lap band surgery.
That was a wake up for me. The health care industry’s solution was protein (chemical) shakes and surgically induced bulimia. I found this to be UNACCEPTABLE. I fought with the insurance and my doctor to get a referral to a nutritionist. I thought that she could help me find the perfect diet.
She didn’t. She told me that what I already knew. Diets do not work. They will work for a short term, but ultimately the restrictive nature of them makes them fail. She instructed me to keep a food journal, with the only restriction being that I need to record everything I eat, and suggested that I try and limit my servings of refined carbs and fruits to six servings a day.
After years of dieting, this was a scary thought. What do I eat?
On the Creative Live website I saw a class, Lose Weight without Dieting. The description said “It’s time to take control of your weight, energy, and happiness.” Have you ever had something resonate with you so much you could feel it? It was like a gong being struck. It described exactly what I want. I immediately registered to watch the live class for free. ( I love that feature about Creative Live!) I also went to the instructor, Darya Rose’s blog, Summer Tomato, which I recommend highly. I listened, I read and it kept on resonating with me. Everything she said fit into the idea of “Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.” The word flexible had always bothered me in that statement particularly preceding pleasure. That sounded too much like permission to eat gallons of ice cream for me to allow myself to pledge that.
Listening to Darya’s 3 day class taught me a lot about eating and the artificial constraints I place on myself, a lot more than I can list in a single blog post, but somewhere along the way, something clicked inside me saying this is what that HAES pledge is all about, valuing real pleasures and listening to internal cues of hunger, satiety and appetite.
So I took the pledge. I am making a value based change in my lifestyle.
This was my tasty breakfast this morning. I did not eat it while I checked my email. I took the time to take it out on the porch and to sit and enjoy each bite of the meal, eating mindfully. I can’t remember when I have enjoyed a breakfast so much.