Health at Every Size
Because you may not be familiar with Health at Every Size®, I wanted to share a bit about what it is and how it informs my work with clients.
Why Health at Every Size Matters to Me
My HAES® journey started because of my desire to change my relationship with food and find peace in my body.
My research led me to a pathway called Intuitive Eating. Instead of following an externally prescribed food plan (aka “diet”); I was guided to reconnected with my internal cues for hunger and satisfaction. Eating and exercise were no longer about needing to change the shape or size of my body. Food was no longer deemed as “good” or “bad” but simply food.
It was also about understanding and accepting myself, exactly as I am in the moment. About understanding my history with food and my body. Understanding my internalized shame and how society and culture has helped to shape those ideas. It has allowed me to come back into a place of choice and freedom to be me.
My journey in intuitive eating also led me to concepts including, weight stigma, body liberation, and ultimately HAES®.
I now draw my definition of health as found on the Association for Size Diversity & Health (ASDAH) website. They advise that health “exists on a continuum” and can be viewed as a “resource or capacity available to all regardless of health condition or ability level, and not as an outcome or objective of living” (ASDAH).
What I love about this definition is that while health will look different from person to person and within the same person at different stages of life; it is available in some way shape or form to us all.
What is Health at Every Size?
The following principles of HAES® were taken from their website:
Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional and other needs.
Eating for Well-Being
Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.
How does HAES® impact your work with clients?
As a HAES® informed practitioner I see my first job as to create a safe emotional space for individuals in diverse and marginalized bodies and communities. I truly believe it’s our differences that make us beautiful and is the foundation of the gifts we can share with the world. You will feel safe, heard and understood when you enter into a clinical, coaching, or consulting relationship with me
It’s also important to me that individuals feel encouraged to bring their whole selves to our work together. Our mental and emotional well being is impacted by our environment, physical health, beliefs, family, culture, and communities. All of these pieces need to be considered and help me to provide the most effective level & type of support.
Contact me today to schedule your free 15-minute consultation call, if you are ready to explore working together.
Please note that my services are only appropriate for those with mild to moderate disordered eating behaviors & body image issues. These include emotional (over)eating, chronic dieting, over exercising, body shame, releasing the diet mentality, & mild cases of binge eating disorder.
If you are currently struggling with a moderate to severe eating disorder that involves a pattern of bingeing/restricting and purging (incl. anorexia or bulimia), please visit this website or this one for appropriate medical treatment options in Maryland.