My recent post about loving myself as I am garnered quite a bit of attention (well, by my standards anyway). I had private messages, emails and friends and acquaintances approaching me in person. People of all shapes and sizes seemed to connect with the idea that they don’t have to wait until they “fix” the things about themselves they are self-conscious about to be happy or live a full life. Of course, this is a journey and no one is going to change their outlook on themselves or preconceived notions about the female body overnight. And the most frequent question (or perhaps argument against self-acceptance) I encounter is, “What about your health?”
After years of trying, unsuccessfully, to change my body I decided that I needed to figure out how to be healthy in spite of my weight. Health At Every Size (HAES) is a growing movement that takes focus off of changing our shape and onto changing our health. This seems like a foreign concept to some because we live in a world that equates thin with healthy. After a lot of research I discovered that is possible to be healthy without the continued psychological damage of dieting and that dieting is, in fact, ineffective at best, unhealthy at worst. And while I don’t really want this post to be about the science that helped me along the way to accepting my body if you want some more insights into that this blogger has a great explanation of correlation versus causation.
So, once I’ve figured out that giving up dieting is the best thing for me both physically and psychologically where does that leave me? And then later, what does it mean when coping with a chronic illness like diabetes? For me it meant taking the focus off of the scale and onto things like energy and stamina. Additionally, the only numbers I care about now are those related to my blood glucose. (I actually put my scale in the back of a closet on a high shelf so I won’t be tempted to stand on it every day. I wanted to get rid of it but I’m too uh,
cheap thrifty, and was worried I’d need it for something like weighing suitcases before a trip. So, I just made it difficult to access which has worked well for me.)
This is an ongoing process and something that I’ve been working at for years. My struggles with disordered eating have been leading me down this path for a while and I feel as if I’m finally starting to truly LIVE these philosophies instead of just agreeing with them intellectually. This doesn’t mean I’m perfect or always do what is optimal for my health- no one does that! It also doesn’t mean I have it all figured out or have nothing new to learn on the topic (that’s why I blog- to figure things out!). What it does mean is that I’m striving toward something better than thinness.
P.S. I’ve never been able to be a niche blogger because my interests and passions are too varied. So, if you’ve found me through radical unschooling, writing, low carb or any of the various topics I write about I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy this new category. I created a Facebook page for this blog that you’re welcome to follow. You can follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link on the right side of the page. I’ve recently added a HAES pinterest board.